NYU Hockey Team Advances to the ACHA National Tournament
New York, NY (Feb. 24th) – The New York University men’s ice hockey team has advanced to the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) National Tournament in Marlborough, MA. With a victory over #5 University of Connecticut at last weekend’s Northeast Regional Tournament, NYU punched its first ticket to the big dance since 2007. The Violets’ first game at the National Tournament will be on Friday, March 21st at the New England Sports Center against the #1 Southeast seed, Florida Gulf Coast University. The remaining teams in the pool are Lindenwood University and Utah State University.
Ranked #4 in the Northeast region, the Violets recorded an impressive 18-4-2 regular season record heading into the Regional Tournament. In the first game, NYU came from behind to defeat #9 Endicott College, 4-2. NYU punched its ticket to Nationals on Sunday after they defeated a tough UConn Husky team, 7-2.
NYU also finished #2 in the Super East Collegiate Hockey League (SECHL) with an 11-2-1 record in league play. The SECHL playoffs take place this weekend in Wayne, NJ.
The Nationals berth is the product of a four-year rebuilding process that was initiated with the arrival of head coach Chris Cosentino in 2010. After inheriting a young Violets team in 2010-2011, Cosentino quickly turned the entire culture of the program around by recruiting elite student/athletes from top prep schools and junior leagues.
In 2011-2012, the Violets clinched a spot in the Northeast Regional tournament, but were defeated in overtime by the University of New Hampshire in the quarterfinals. Last season, the Violets defeated William Paterson University in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals. An overtime loss to Northeastern in the semis ended their shot at making the National Tournament.
“Each year we have taken a step forward in our development and we are going to continue pushing forward as a program,” said Cosentino. “This has been an incredible learning experience for our team and we are looking forward to the SECHL playoffs and the National Tournament.”
Under the direction of Cosentino, assistant coaches Mike Martin and Dan Fortunato, and general manager Elizabeth Miller, the Violets have developed into a mature, elite team in the ACHA. With 17 upperclassmen, the Violets play an energetic and up tempo style but according to their coach it is their experience that has played the biggest role in the success.
“Our players have been tested over the past three or four years and this season was no different,” Cosentino added. “We have battled through a ton of injuries this year and we keep answering the bell. There is something very special about this group and it starts with our ability to deal with adversity and keep pushing forward.”
Off the ice, the Violets have consistently succeeded in the classroom. NYU has led the SECHL in All-Academic Honorees since they joined it in 2000. Last year, an extraordinary 18 student/athletes received at least a 3.3 GPA. They also maintain a steady presence in the community, raising thousands of dollars for more than 15 not-for-profit organizations in the NYC area and volunteer at the St. Francis Xavier Church soup kitchen on Sunday mornings.
The ACHA Divison II National Tournament will take place March 21-25 in Marlborough, MA and will be hosted by Northeastern University.
Friday, March 21st vs. Florida Gulf Coast University - Time TBA
Saturday, March 22nd vs. Lindenwood University - Time TBA
Sunday, March 23rd vs. Utah State University - Time TBA