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ACHA has released the seasons first rankings but stirs up controversy around the league.
November 11, 2013 – American Collegiate Hockey Association - ACHA, divides the hockey season into 4 different ranking periods; 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and final rankings. This ranking system is the deciding factor to determine which teams make the Regional Tournament, and the two teams that bypass Regionals straight to Nationals. These rankings also allow teams to have an idea where they stand next to other teams around the league.
“In the five years I have been around the UW hockey team and seen these rankings come out each year, I have always understood their logic and agreed with their ranking decisions. As the first ranking of the 2013-2014 season was posted, I was dumbfounded by what I was reading”, says Dustin Galbreath, player for the Cowboys. Compared to the previous five years of rankings, this one appeared to have zero effort put into it, and zero logic behind their reasoning.
>>2013-2014 First ACHA Regional Rankings (Pacific Region - Bottom Left)
The Pacific Region is a fairly consistent region that doesn’t fluctuate drastically between seasons and ranking periods. Colorado State, a National Title contender last season, and who was projected No. 1 or 2 this season, was not ranked in the top 15. Colorado School of Mines, who hasn’t seen a winning season in five years, took the No. 8 spot. The Pacific Region has grown in the past few years, bringing in stronger competition from more and more schools. “When I began five years ago, the Top 15 Pacific teams were concentrated in Colorado and California and everywhere in between. Now there are Top 15 teams from California all the way out to Illinois” Galbreath says. This year, Arkansas moved out of the South Region and joined the Pacific. They are a well developed team that captured the No. 1 spot this season. The Pacific is becoming a powerhouse that will be the region to beat in Nationals.
The first ranking didn’t ruin everybody’s day, after all School of Mines took No. 8, but more importantly Wyoming took No. 13. Now its not exactly as high as the Cowboys wanted to be but its better than not being ranked. In the past few seasons, Wyoming has struggled to make it back in the rankings since their 2009-2010 season making an appearance at the Regional Tournament. That season put Wyoming on everybody’s radar, especially when they took down No. 1 College of the Canyons by a score of 7-1. This 2013-2014 team may not be as high as some were hoping, but at least they are on the map. There is still plenty of games remaining for the Cowboys to improve their ranking by season’s end.
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