The ACC Cougars Women’s Hockey team will enter familiar territory at the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s (ACHA) Women’s Division II (W2) Championship tournament held March 16 - 20 just outside of Boston, Massachusetts.
“I am thrilled to be heading to the Nationals once again. Our team has worked so hard, both on and off the ice, to finish first in the West Region,” said Tony Bertone, Cougars head coach. “The thought of leading this amazing group of athletes to defend our title is an incredible feeling, and I couldn't be more excited!”
The Cougars enter the tournament as the top-ranked team in the West Region with a 23-2-1-0 record at the end of regular conference play. With 16 top-ranked W2 teams competing, defending their two-time championship title will be no easy feat.
“I’m excited about the competitive environment Nationals brings. Having had the opportunity to attend the tournament last season in St. Louis, I have a clear idea of what we’re up against,” said Geneva Penner, Cougars goalie. “Tournament games were filled with pure intensity and the best competition! It was one of the best experiences I’ve had in my hockey career.”
The Cougars won their first ACHA Championship in 2019. After an undefeated season in 2020, the Championship was cancelled due to COVID-19. After another cancellation in 2021, the Cougars successfully defended their title in 2022.
“Collegiate athletics are an important part of college life for many student athletes, and we're thrilled to once again see our women's hockey program excel in their field,” said Lindsay McLaughlin, Cougars Athletics Manager. "These athletes are a prime example of commitment and dedication, setting a positive tone for athletic excellence across the college. We're thrilled to rally the whole college behind them as they prepare to defend their title.”
The team will kick off this year’s tournament on Thursday, March 16, as they take on Michigan State University, fourth-ranked in the Central Region, at 11:30 AM CST.
Tournament games will be streamed live on HockeyTV.com.