For the second season in a row American International finished one spot ahead of Niagara in 2016-17 with a 8-20-8 overall record. Last year was the first under head coach Eric Lang, the first new coach at AIC since 1984-85. AIC has not finished with a winning record since 1993-94 when they operated as an independent, they have never made an NCAA tournament, is most likely the least funded program in the country and last season averaged 418 fans per home game, 2nd worst in the country.
Alaska-Fairbanks, who were seeking a replacement for head coach Dallas Ferguson who left for the WHL, has chosen their coach for the 2017-18 season. Lance West, who first joined the Alaska-Fairbanks program in 2007-08 has been named the interim head coach for this season.
Starting today is a new daily feature in the build up to the 2017-18 college hockey season, with team by team previews. I draw inspiration for this feature from Bill Connelly who breaks down each FBS College Football team during the off-season, one team per day and makes predictions for the upcoming season. Now I do not own a private algorithm or analytics system like Bill does, and college hockey coverage can vary depending on market so I may not reach his level this season but that is the goal in mind.
So, how will this work? Well I will go in order of conference finish from last season, bottom-to-top, starting today with Atlantic Hockey. After Atlantic Hockey, we will go in this order: WCHA, ECHA, Big Ten, Hockey East and finally NCHC. Each team capsule will feature the same categories covered and at the conclusion of each league the next day will feature a prediction post for next season. The goal is one team per day before the season starts but if there are delays of course some days may become double posts to ensure finishing on time. With that said, be sure to follow after the jump with our first team, the Niagara Purple Eagles.
Each Wednesday we look to highlight commitments made across college hockey. I will try to predict when a player will arrive on campus but as we all know that can be flexible in NCAA Hockey. Check below to review the commitments made since July 12.
I was out of town this weekend getting away to Lake Michigan for a little R&R and was unable to post some news over the past few days. So I wanted to combine a few small stories out there catch you all up on the latest news from NCAA hockey and the release of the Five Nations Tournament USA roster following the conclusion of the Select 16 Festival covered here extensively last week.
The Michigan State Spartans will be rebuilding in 2017-18 under 1st year head coach Danton Cole. That process just got made a bit more challenging as Mason Appleton, who was slated to be the team captain this season, has signed his entry level contract with the Winnipeg Jets.
Appleton announced the signing on his Twitter account this morning.
The All-Star Game at the USA Hockey Select 16 Development Camp is currently under way and the roster was released on Twitter minutes ago.
As far as college commitments there 18 players playing in the game who have already chosen their college. Follow the jump for the complete list.