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Back in the Show! PSU Formally Invited to ACHA National Tournament


The Women's Ice Hockey Club has officially qualified for the ACHA Women's Division 2 National Tournament, which will be held March 13th through 16th at the University of Delaware in Newark, the ACHA announced today, in conjunction with the release of the season's fourth and final poll. The top four teams from the East and West Regions in the rankings received invitations to nationals.

While the news - thanks to a full and dominantly-navigated regular season schedule - lacks the drama of a similar announcement a year ago, 15-3-2 Penn State improved on the 2013 iteration by securing the second seed in the East Region. Familiar foe California grabbed the top spot that had belonged to the WIHC all season long until now, thanks to the Vulcans' 2-1 College Hockey East championship game win over PSU on Saturday.

Michigan State (which visited Pegula Ice Arena back in October) edged out defending national champion West Chester for the other up-for-grabs bid in the East, while Delaware received automatic entry as the host. North Dakota State, Iowa State, Alaska and Wisconsin-La Crosse will represent the West Region.

The tournament's format divides the teams into two pools. PSU will participate in Pool A with North Dakota State, Alaska and Delaware, playing preliminary-round games with those teams as follows:
  • March 13th vs. Alaska, 3:30 p.m.
  • March 14th vs. Delaware, 8:45 a.m.
  • March 14th vs. North Dakota State, 6:00 p.m.
Penn State will be the designated home team for each of the first two games and will sit on the away bench for the contest against NDSU. All three teams are familiar to the WIHC - Delaware, of course, is a CHE opponent, while a win over Alaska (2-1) and a tie with North Dakota State (3-3) helped propel PSU to last season's national title game.

After each of the eight invited squads has played three games, the top two from each pool will advance to the semifinals on March 15th. The championship and third-place games follow on March 16th.

For the full tournament schedule, standings and other information, click here.

Here is the complete fourth poll:

East Region
Pts. ..
West Region
Pts.
1
California
9
1
North Dakota State
8
2
Penn State
10
2
Iowa State
24
3
Michigan State
23
3
Alaska
24
4
Delaware
24
4
Wisconsin-La Crosse
40
5
West Chester
24
5
Rainy River CC
42
6
Slippery Rock
36
6
Minnesota-Duluth
44
7
Liberty
45
7
Wisconsin-Stout
47
8
Connecticut
45
8
Minot State
59
Wisconsin-La Crosse
Wisconsin-La Crosse