Thursday, March 24, 2022

Could Utica Hockey Move to DI?

 

written by STEVE ULRICH
your must-read briefing on what's driving the day in NCAA Division III

 

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TOP STORY

1.  Could Utica Hockey Move to DI?


Cameron Patton
by Bill Keeler, WIBX / photo by Jeff Pexton, Perfect Game Imaging

"There are a lot of moving pieces," but, the Utica University Pioneers men's hockey team could soon move to Division I in the NCAA, according to the Commissioner of the Atlantic Hockey Association.

Rumors were swirling about Utica over the weekend as the Division I Atlantic Hockey Championships were held at the Adirondack Bank Center. As the best teams in the AHC were playing on Saturday and Sunday, many fans were wondering if it might be Utica's last season in Division III.

“I can say Utica has expressed an interest in joining (the Atlantic Hockey Association), but the conference has not yet made a decision,” said AHA Commissioner Bob DeGregorio on Wednesday. "A very important meeting is scheduled for this Tuesday. We’ll know a lot more then," he said. Utica head coach Gary Heenan was unable to comment.

>> Ice Awareness: "The Atlantic Hockey Association (AHA) became the sixth Division I men's ice hockey conference in 2003. Now in its 19th season of existence in 2021-22, Atlantic Hockey and its members are known throughout the NCAA landscape. "The conference is currently made up of 10 teams spanning a total of five states, reaching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rocky Mountains. Members reside in Colorado (Air Force), Connecticut (Sacred Heart), Massachusetts (American International, Bentley, Holy Cross), New York (Army, Canisius, Niagara, RIT), and Pennsylvania (Mercyhurst)," according to its website."

>> Quotable: “The decision will come with a vote by the Board of Directors which is made up of representatives from each of the 10 existing schools in the conference," said DeGregorio. "They’ll decide what’s going to happen, whether or not we expand, and if so, whether the expansion includes just Utica or several schools,” he added. "I’d say by the end of May or early June, we’ll know.”

>> Be Smart: Is this just the beginning of life under the new NCAA Constitution? 

>> Read More

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NEWS

2. William Peace Considering Name Change
 

William Peace University - Niche
by WRAL News


"President Brian Ralph of William Peace University, a private school in downtown Raleigh, told WRAL News on Tuesday that the administration will be considering changing the university's name.

"We're going to conduct 14 listening sessions with faculty, staff, students, alumni and trustees. I'm confident that the name will come up as part of those conversations," according to Ralph.

The university formed a committee to identify parts of the university's history that are "not consistent" with the university's current values. On Tuesday, university officials announced that they removed a statue of its founder on campus."

>> Background: "William Peace, namesake of the university, owned 51 enslaved people in the city of Raleigh, according to U.S. Census records. The most prominent building on campus previously served as a Confederate hospital and was built by enslaved men and women."

>> What They're Saying: "The initial findings by the task force reveal areas in our history that are diametrically opposed to our current values. Today, we are publicly acknowledging those findings. We are making this public acknowledgment because living our values today requires us to reckon with the hard truths of our past."

>> Reality Check: "We knew that to move forward, we must understand our history as an institution and where it may/may not intersect with white supremacy, slavery, and/or racism," the university's task force wrote in a statement.

>> Read More

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ICE HOCKEY

3.  Men's Final Four Preview



Cameron Gray, Adrian

The 2022 NCAA Division III men's ice hockey semifinals take place on Friday in Lake Placid, N.Y. Here is a look at each semifinalist.

Adrian vs. Augsburg, 3:00

Adrian Bulldogs (29-1)
Best NCAA DIII Finish: Second (2011)
Trips to the DIII Final Four (4): 2011-15-17-22
Goals / Shots per Game: 6.0 / 38.3
Goals / Shots Allowed per Game: 2.0 / 24.3 
Leading Goal Scorer: Ty Enns, 20
Top Goalkeeper: Cameron Gray, .910 save%, 2.30 GAA
Statistics

Augsburg Auggies (25-4)
Best NCAA Finish: Fourth (1984)
Trips to the Final Four (3): 1984-98-2022
Goals / Shots per Game: 3.9 / 33.3
Goals / Shots Allowed per Game: 1.7 / 24.0
Leading Goal Scorers: Austin Martinsen, Fritz Belisle, 16
Top Goalkeepers: Samuel Vyletelka, .942 save%, 1.38 GAA; Jack Robbel, .921, 1.86 
Statistics

Geneseo vs. U. of New England, 6:30

Geneseo Knights (23-3-1)
Best NCAA Finish: Third Place (2014)
Trips to the Final Four (3): 2014-16-22
Goals / Shots per Game: 4.70 / 37.9
Goals / Shots Allowed per Game: 1.6 / 23.8
Leading Goal Scorer: Dan Bosio, 22
Top Goalkeeper: Matt Petizian, .934 save%, 1.58 GAA
Statistics

U. of New England Nor'easters (23-3-1)
Best NCAA Finish: Quarterfinals (2019)
Trips to the Final Four (1): 2022
Goals / Shots per Game: 4.1 / 33.8
Goals / Shots Allowed per Game: 2.2 / 26.9
Leading Goal Scorer: Jake Fuss, 26
Top Goalkeeper: Billy Girard IV, .921 save%, 2.12 GAA
Statistics

SOFTBALL

4.  Captain, My Captain


Kaitlyn Hasty, Christopher Newport / photo by Megan May

There is a new No. 1 atop the NFCA Division III softball poll.
  1. Christopher Newport (10), 21-0
  2. Salisbury, 20-2
  3. Virginia Wesleyan, 17-3
  4. Belhaven, 18-2
  5. Texas Lutheran, 20-4
  6. East Texas Baptist, 18-5
  7. Birmingham-Southern, 17-4
  8. Linfield, 19-3
  9. Eastern Connecticut, 12-2
  10. Tufts, 4-2
>> Movers and Shakers: Concordia, Wis. (+6), Texas Lutheran (-4)
>> Welcome: Wartburg, Loras, Mary Hardin-Baylor

>> Home Run Leaders: Kaitlyn Hasty (CNU) 11, Maddy Thomas (Whitworth) 8, Erin McGrath (Pacific Lutheran) 7, Kassie Simmons (Greensboro) 7, Haley Ullrich (Alma) 7
>> Strikeout Leaders: Ashlyn Hemm (Loras) 128, Tayah Kelley (Linfield) 126, Ashlyn Strother (TLU) 94, Gina Followell (Concordia, Wis.) 94, Cami Henry (DePauw) 93.

>> Complete Poll
NEWS

5.  Lightning Round 

  Misericordia's Alexa McHugh twirled a no-hitter in the Cougars' 3-0 victory over Alvernia. She walked two batters and fanned 12.

  Babson forward Ryan Black and Endicott goaltender Conor O’Brien are the co-winners of the 21st Joe Concannon Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England at the Division II/III level.

  Congrats to Wheaton (Mass.) head baseball coach Eric Podbelski who won the 700th game of his career in the Lyons' 13-3 triumph vs. Bridgewater State.
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