The College of the Canyons hockey team won favor with the Santa Clarita City Council Tuesday, as they were honored for their underdog run to the Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division-III National Championships in Rochester New York.The team placed 14th in the tournament, however they surprised just about everyone after defeating Northern Arizona University to earn a spot in the championships.
Here's a game-by-game breakdown of COC's run, courtesy of College of the Canyons.
Game One – Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The College of the Canyons hockey team skated to a thrilling 6-5 victory over Albany University on Wednesday to advance to the second round of the ACHA Division-III National Championships.
It was an exciting day of opening round action as large schools Colorado University, Georgia Tech and University of Tennessee each suffered first round defeats.
The tournament's remaining field then included Northern Arizona University, Saginaw Valley State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fredonia State, Hope College and Farmingdale State College, Grand Valley State University and College of the Canyons.
College of the Canyons was, at that point, the only community college and lone California school in the tournament.
Game Two – Thursday, March 5, 2009
The College of the Canyons hockey team finally met its match Thursday, as the Cougars were defeated 7-2 by Grand Valley State University in the second round of the ACHA Division-III National Championships.
College of the Canyons then moved to the tournament's consolation bracket where they awaited the loser of the match-up between Saginaw Valley State University and nationally top-ranked Northern Arizona University (NAU).
Game Three – Friday, March 6, 2009
The College of the Canyons was defeated by nationally top ranked Northern Arizona University (NAU) 11-3 on Friday in the consolation bracket ACHA Division-III National Championships.
The Cougars found themselves in the lower bracket after losing to Michigan's Grand Valley State University on Thursday. Similarly, NAU was defeated by Saginaw Valley State University – another Michigan school – Thursday.
But despite having already handily defeated NAU 11-8 in the Pacific Collegiate Hockey Association (PCHA) championship game, this time around the Cougars could not contain the high scoring Lumberjack attack.
A win on Friday would have moved College of the Canyons into group one of the consolation bracket. However, with the loss the Cougars were forced to do battle with Georgia Tech in a fight for a 13th place tournament ranking.
Game Four – Saturday, March 7, 2009
College of the Canyons was met with another stinging defeat Saturday as Georgia Tech was able to outlast the Cougars with a tight 9-7 victory in the consolation bracket of the final round of the championships.
The Cougars, who were one of only two community colleges and the only team from California competing in the tournament, went 1-3 over the four days of play defeating a tough Albany University team in the opening round before dropping their last three contests.
As a result College of the Canyons had to settle for a 14th place tournament ranking.
Final ACHA Division-III National Championships ranking are as follows:
No. 1 – Saginaw Valley State University
No. 2 – Florida Gulf Coast University
No. 3 – Grand Valley State University
No. 4 – Farmingdale State College
No. 5 – Dordt College
No. 6 – Northern Arizona University
No. 7 – University of Central Florida
No. 8 – Fredonia State University
No. 9 – Hope College
No. 10 – Delta College
No. 11 – University of Tennessee
No. 12 – University of Albany
No. 13 – Georgia institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
No. 14 -College of the Canyons
No. 15 – Colorado University
No. 16 -Penn State University-Brandywine