For most sports fans, one of the greatest appeals of following a team is the thrill of witnessing an unexpected upset or a dramatic win. These moments not only make for exciting memories but also have the power to shape a team’s legacy and inspire future generations. Throughout its history, the Lindenwood University ice hockey program has had its fair share of both historic upsets and memorable wins. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and relive some of the most notable moments in Lindenwood’s hockey history.
The Early Years: Building the Foundation
Lindenwood University, located in St. Charles, Missouri, first established its ice hockey program in the 1980s. In its early years, the team was primarily composed of students from the university’s campus club hockey team. However, in 1999, Lindenwood made the move to join the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) and become an official member of the nation’s top collegiate club hockey league.
The team quickly established itself as a force to be reckoned with, reaching the ACHA Division 3 national tournament in its inaugural year and earning a spot in the Division 2 tournament just two years later. These early successes laid the foundation for the program’s future achievements and showed that Lindenwood was a rising star in the world of collegiate club hockey.
Overcoming Adversity: The 2004-2005 Season
In the 2004-2005 season, Lindenwood faced a challenge unlike any other in its history. Due to an outbreak of mumps on campus, the team was forced to cancel a significant portion of its games, leaving them with a less-than-ideal 12-10-1 record going into the ACHA national tournament.
Despite the obstacles, Lindenwood persevered and made it to the championship game, where they faced off against rival Davenport University. In a nail-biting game that went into overtime, Lindenwood managed to come out on top and clinch its first-ever national championship. This win not only solidified Lindenwood’s place as a dominant force in the ACHA but also demonstrated the team’s resilience and ability to overcome adversity.
Enter the National Collegiate Hockey Conference
In 2012, Lindenwood made another historic move when it became one of the founding members of the newly established National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC). This conference, comprised of six teams, was formed with the goal of providing a higher level of competition for top club hockey programs.
Lindenwood quickly proved that it belonged in the NCHC, finishing the regular season with a record of 23-4-1 and earning a spot in the NCHC playoffs. In a thrilling series against Adrian College, Lindenwood pulled off a stunning upset, defeating the top-ranked team in the nation and advancing to the NCHC championship game.
Although Lindenwood ultimately fell short in the championship game, this marked a significant moment in the university’s hockey history, proving that it could compete at the highest level and hold its own against top-ranking teams.
Reaching New Heights: The 2016-2017 Season
The 2016-2017 season was one for the books for Lindenwood hockey. With an impressive record of 36-3-1 and an NCHC regular-season championship under its belt, the team entered the ACHA Division 1 national tournament as the top seed.
In a tournament that saw Lindenwood dominate its opponents, the team cruised through the bracket, eventually facing off against league rival Davenport University in the championship game. In a high-scoring and intense matchup, Lindenwood prevailed and earned its second-ever ACHA Division 1 national title.
This season solidified Lindenwood’s place as one of the top collegiate club hockey programs in the nation and showcased the dedication and hard work of the players, coaches, and staff.
Looking to the Future
As Lindenwood continues to make its mark in the world of collegiate club hockey, there is no doubt that future seasons will bring even more memorable moments and historic wins. With a strong foundation, experienced coaching staff, and dedicated players, the sky is the limit for this program.
Whether it’s a team’s first national championship, an unexpected upset, or a thrilling championship win, these historic moments not only make for great sports memories, but also inspire future generations and establish a legacy that will last for years to come. For Lindenwood hockey, these moments of triumph and resilience have helped shape the program into the powerhouse it is today.