The sport of hockey has always been a beloved pastime in North America, with a fierce following and passionate fan base. In recent years, one team has risen to the top, making a name for themselves and establishing a dynasty in the making. The Lindenwood Lions, based in St. Charles, Missouri, have made their mark in the world of minor hockey, with an impressive winning record and a highly talented roster. From their humble beginnings to their current success, let’s take a closer look at the rise of this powerhouse team.
Founded in 2003, Lindenwood University’s hockey program started with a small group of players under the guidance of head coach Derek Schaub. Despite facing strong opponents and lack of resources, the team showed determination and potential from the start. In their first season, the Lions finished with a respectable 14-21 record, laying the foundation for the team’s future success.
As the team continued to grow and develop, they joined the Central States Collegiate Hockey League (CSCHL) in 2005, solidifying their place in the collegiate hockey world. With each passing season, the team improved, with impressive playoff runs and winning records. However, it wasn’t until the 2013-2014 season that the Lions truly made their mark.
In this season, the Lions dominated the ice, finishing the regular season with a 24-4-8 record, earning them the CSCHL regular-season championship. But their success didn’t stop there. In the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division I National Championships, the Lions went on to become the national champions, defeating powerhouse teams such as Minot State and Arizona State.
Since then, the Lions have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in both the CSCHL and ACHA. They have won the CSCHL regular-season championship six times and the ACHA National Championship twice, solidifying their position as one of the top teams in the country. Their success has also translated into individual accolades, with players earning honors such as All-American and Player of the Year.
So, what’s the secret to the Lions’ success? One factor that sets them apart is their dedicated coaching staff. Head coach Rick Zombo, a former NHL player, took over the team in 2009 and has since led the Lions to their national championships. His expertise and leadership have been crucial in shaping the team’s winning mentality and fostering a supportive team culture.
Another key factor is the team’s recruitment strategy. The Lions have a strong focus on recruiting local players, creating a sense of community within the team. They also place a strong emphasis on academics, with many players earning academic honors in addition to their athletic achievements.
But perhaps the biggest factor in the Lions’ success is the talent and drive of the players themselves. With a roster made up of highly skilled and motivated athletes, the Lions have been able to consistently perform at a high level. Each season, they bring a new level of determination and passion to the ice, inspiring their fans and setting a high standard for future Lindenwood players.
As the Lions continue to dominate the ice, their success has not gone unnoticed. They have garnered attention and admiration from the wider hockey community, with recognition from media outlets and other teams. More importantly, the team has built a dedicated and passionate fan base, with supporters from both the university and the local community.
The Lindenwood Lions have established themselves as a dynasty in the making, with a winning record and a talented roster that continues to impress. With each passing season, they write a new chapter in their story, inspiring future generations of players and fans. As they continue to strive for excellence, the Lions show us that hard work, determination, and a strong team culture can lead to extraordinary success.