ACHA Hockey Loses Opportunity To Compete at ACHA Division 3 Tournament

Gabe Gunneson eyes the puck in the air as he skates behind the net. The Hope College ice hockey team will not be able to compete for a national championship after the American Collegiate Hockey Association canceled this month's championships in Frisco, Texas because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Flying Dutchmen earned an automatic berth to nationals after finishing second in the final North Region ranking.

The teams with the highest two ratings received a bye from regional play.

Hope's rating of 11.872 was second only to the University of Michigan's 11.937.

The tournament, which would have crowned National Champions at all five divisions of ACHA play (Men's Divisions 1, 2, and 3; Women's Divisions 1 and 2), was also scheduled to hold games at the Children's Health StarCenters in Plano, Texas and McKinney, Texas over the course of the ten-day event.

"We are incredibly disappointed to have to cancel our National Tournament," said ACHA Executive Director Craig Barnett.  "However, the safety of our teams and student-athletes is of paramount concern.  With the recent actions taken by USA Hockey and other major sports leaders, together with the uncertainty regarding the current public health situation, we felt it necessary to be proactive and take this preventative measure to mitigate, suppress, and delay the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).  The ACHA apologizes for any inconvenience; however, we believe we are acting in the best interests of the ACHA's student-athletes, their families and fans, by taking this extraordinary action."

Hope finished the season with a 23-4-2 overall record. The Flying Dutchmen were Michigan Collegiate Hockey Conference West Division champions.

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