Women’s hockey vies for ACHA national title in St. Louis


GOING FOR IT ALL—The NMU Women’s Hockey team poses for a team photo. The team travels to St. Louis this week to battle for the national title at the ACHA National Tournament. Photo courtesy of Isabella Oldani.

Dallas Wiertella, Staff Writer

The Northern Michigan University women’s hockey team has been on a hot streak this season and has made its way into the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Tournament.

Starting today, the team will face off against 16 teams in St. Louis in the six-day event. NMU placed fourth out of 11 teams in the Central pool and will join Lake Superior State University, Sault College and Adrian College.

The women placed in the top 16 out of 51 teams in the country, ending their season with an overall record of 12-9-2. The Wildcats secured their position at the top and received the fourth and final Central pool invitation to nationals from the ACHA. 

“We’ve been working hard at all of our practices and can’t wait to see the type of competition we will face next week,” senior captain Isabella Oldani said. “I feel we are as ready as we can be for this tournament.”

NMU will face off against Northeast #1 Northeastern University today at 11 a.m. today, Southeast #2 University of Delaware at 4 p.m. tomorrow, and West #3 North Dakota State University at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday (all times listed as Eastern time). Game schedules, tickets and broadcast details can be found on the ACHA website.

Two of the three teams the Wildcats are guaranteed to face are above NMU in the national ranking on the ACHA website, and the third team is only two ranks below NMU, so the competition will likely be very fierce and a good challenge, Oldani said.

“It honestly feels amazing to be one of the top teams especially since we have a total roster of only 12 [players,]” Oldani said. “It just shows how hard we work as a team to win our games.”

Unlike many other teams that will be participating in the championship, the Wildcats hold a smaller roster. Despite having a team of 12 players, the Cats pushed their way to the top of their

Division. Making it to the championship has affected the team in a positive way, and the women are excited to go and have been putting a lot of effort into fundraising. Information about fundraising as well as an update on ITS games can be found on the team’s Facebook page.

After many hard-fought games, including back-to-back wins in December against the University of Notre Dame, who NMU beat out for the fourth and final Central spot, the Wildcats are ready to start their week at nationals.

“At the beginning of the year it felt like we were only playing for ourselves and not for each other, but as the season has progressed, we have definitely improved on that and have had some really great games.” Oldani said. “It has helped us get to the ranking that we are at now.”