Monday, March 5, 2001
Playoff run ends for OU ice hockey team
By Jeff Samoray, OU Web Writer
The OU Black Bears ice hockey team fell short of its championship hopes by going 1-2-0 in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division II playoffs, held last week at Indiana University.
The club team, now in its second season, qualified for the playoffs in its first year of eligibility. The Black Bears won its first-ever playoff game 5-1 over Central Connecticut State, but lost 6-3 to tournament runner-up Weber State and 7-2 to defending champion Miami of Ohio. OU finished the season 20-13-1.
Life University (Marietta, Ga.) won all five of its playoff games and the tournament championship.
Black Bears coach Anthony Jalaba said he believes the team will continue to improve next season.
"We played aggressively and asserted ourselves as one of the top teams in the country," Jalaba said. "The tournament was a learning experience for us. Our players now know what it takes to win and we'll work hard to get better."
Next season OU will be joining a new league tentatively called the Great Midwest Hockey League. In addition to OU, the league will include Michigan State; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Ferris State; Indiana; and Miami of Ohio. All six teams qualified for the playoffs this season.
"Clearly, it will be the top league in all of Division II," Jalaba said. "The future of our program is very bright. Every game next season will be highly competitive and up for grabs."