I usually try to keep my personal opinions out of my writing when it comes to the hockey recaps. Or at the very least, I try to make sure there's some sort of reasonable analysis connected to what I'm writing. This time, it's nothing but a pure rant. And it's all aimed at this first (of three) ACHA exhibition weekends for the DI men's team. Also, I'm sure this will be taken down because some of the mods don't like people to have opinions on BSD. (That's right - I keep my Twitter promises of making passive-aggressive statements towards the mods.)
I do want to add in a note that this isn't directed towards ASU (or Oklahoma or Ohio, for later in the season) - they just happen to be the ACHA teams on the schedule. Truth be told, I'm happy that they are at least respectable teams within the ACHA - my anger would be much higher if these were the crappier teams of the ACHA on the schedule.
And I understand why these games are on the schedule - we're the new team, fairly quickly thrown together, playing as an independent. College ice hockey is a small group with a deep history, which includes many deep rivalries and somewhat set schedules. Even for the non-conference games, many teams have set rivals to get on the schedule. It doesn't help that getting the new guy in town on the schedule isn't always a great boost when trying to make it to the post-season. So there were holes in the schedule that needed opponents, and we turned to some old friends in the ACHA to help meet those needs. I get it.
(I also now understand why NCAA teams didn't want us on their schedules back in our ACHA days. In turn, I make myself feel better by thinking that the Icers were one on the top programs, had the big name draw, and were always pointed in the direction of making the jump to the NCAA.)
But there isn't a damn thing gained from this weekend (or the two in February), and I just can't wait for it to be over. Last season was it - I said my goodbyes and looked back fondly upon the days of the ACHA. And then I left, hoping to never look back (at least not until the Ice Lions make the jump to ACHA D1, should they ever decide to/be allowed to). So long. Good riddance. Don't write. Yet here they are again. What's worse - we're opening with a team that is undefeated, the unanimous #1, and playing with a nothing-to-lose attitude. Lovely.
Do I expect the weekend to end with two wins for Penn State? Of course - this team has shown they play with a full effort regardless of the opponent. But if Arizona State somehow walks away with a win or a sweep, honestly, I won't give a damn. Last weekend, there were moral victories abound! This weekend, I'll just be happy if we skate away injury-free. What a worthless waste of a hockey weekend. There. I said it.
Oh, and they moved the 2/1 game vs. Ohio to Hershey. I don't even know anymore.
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