The second round of official American Collegiate Hockey Association rankings were released Dec. 12, and after a tough showing over the last month the SRJC hockey team now sits at no. 11 in the Pacific Region.
Falling out of the no. 6 spot was expected after a challenging 10-game span that resulted in a 2-5-3 record. Despite playing relatively well in those games, the fall in rankings seems to be based on strength of schedule since SRJC still owns a respectable 12-6-3 record.
While current rankings have the team just out of reach of a top 10 spot needed for February’s Regional Tournament, the Polar Bears are confident they can bounce back in the next rankings cycle.
“I think the rankings reflect that even with the tough stretch in November the [rankings] committee is still leaving the door open for us to creep back into the Regionals talk,” said head coach Mike Kovanis. “We have a good schedule against very solid DII programs in January and early February, which will hopefully allow us to get back into the top 10.”
With a month off from competition, SRJC can finally have some much-needed rest since starting the season in September. This will allow the team to recover and refocus on what is ahead.
“It’s unfortunate we lost players to serious injuries and some guys not staying committed to their teammates by not attending the Iowa trip, but the guys who are here and committed have what we need to play a strong second semester and meet our season goals,” Kovanis said.
The team will face several high-caliber teams in the New Year, including Division II squad Boise State and new opponent University of Nevada, Las Vegas. These games will have a direct impact on the next set of rankings, which will be announce in late January 2015.