Northern Collegiate Hockey Association teams will be back on the
ice for their first formal practices of the year Monday as October
15th marks the official start of the NCAA Division III hockey
season. Student-Athletes will battle for roster spots,
condition themselves for the long haul that is the hockey season
and start to grasp new power plays, forechecks and, in some cases,
In the Men's Conference St. Norbert goes to work on its quest for a third straight national title. And the Green Knights have a truck-full of returners to try and accomplish the feat. Amongst that group are junior defenceman Reid Campbell and sophomore goalie David Jacobson, both All-NCHA and All-American selections from a year ago.
St. Scholastica looks to build on a strong finish to last year's regular season, when the Saints surged to grab the number-two playoff seed. UW-River Falls can find motivation by glancing at its start to last season - one loss in the opening twelve games - and see what the group can accomplish when on its game.
UW-Stout is first up as they open the 2012-13 season with a non-conference game this Saturday night at Concordia-Wisconsin.
In the Women's Conference there are more than a few storylines leading into what looks like an extremely competitive season.
* Does the road to the championship go through River Falls?
* How will super sophomores Dani Schultz (UW-Superior) and Nina Waidacher (St. Scholastica) follow up their historic freshman campaigns?
* Speaking of Schultz, she's one of three returning All-American players from a year ago on the Yellowjacket roster. Could UW-Superior be the team to beat in 2012-13?
* How big of strides will third-year programs St. Norbert and St. Scholastica make?
* What changes will Finlandia and Marian make under their new head coaches?
The new coaches in the Women's Conference: Danielle Syrowik at Finlandia and Jamie Kivi at Marian. The two will go head-to-head in their NCHA competition debuts on November 9-10 in Michigan. New systems and atmospheres are sure to begin installation today.
Coaches' Polls in both conferences are being conducted and the results will be posted later this week.