via The Daily Wildcat
The Arizona hockey team is headed back to the ACHA Division I National Tournament after a two-year absence from the postseason.
The Wildcats (9-16-4) have qualified as a 16 seed for the tourney, which takes the top 17 ranked teams in the conference.
Arizona dropped one spot in the rankings after losing both games in its weekend series to Minot State.
Three top-10 wins in the ACHA over Oklahoma, Ohio and Colorado helped propel Arizona into the postseason. Furthermore, the Wildcats' four close games against Minot State bolstered their regular season resume.
Arizona will have a two week break after this weekend before it travels to Robert Morris University Illinois to take on Western Michigan University in its first tournament game on March 3 at 5 p.m. The No. 17 Broncos sport a 19-10-4 record.
The winner between the Wildcats and Broncos will play top-ranked Minot State next in the tournament.
This tournament berth is the first for Arizona head coach, Chad Berman. Last season, the Wildcats had one of their worst seasons, as the team went 11-22-3 in Berman’s first year as head coach.
Before the Wildcats head to the Windy City, they will play ASU’s Division I team for the last time on Friday night before the Sun Devils dive in to a full NCAA schedule next season.
Arizona has dropped its first four decisions to ASU’s D2 squad so far this season. These two games will not count toward the already decided national tournament rankings.
Arizona plays ASU Friday and Saturday night at the Tucson Convention Center Arena with puck drop scheduled for 7:30 p.m. for both games.