Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hockey: Navy Finishes With the Spring Thaw


Dahlgren Hall, Navy hockey's longtime home (Photo / T. Flynn)

With ice as its playing surface, hockey was clearly a sport conceived in winter. College hockey still loosely holds to the hockey-as-winter-sport-notion by closing out its season in early spring. This year's Division I championship game will be played on April 13.

In contrast, the NHL season has managed to extend itself into summer, typically concluding in the late days of June when it anoints its new Stanley Cup champions. The original Stanley Cup champions were awarded the trophy on March 17, 1893.

In the Mid-Atlantic, the college game concludes just as area ice (provided there is any) is receding for the season. The region's best team in 2013, the Navy Midshipmen, had one of their finest seasons ever, posting a 28-5-1 mark and earning for the first time a spot in the ACHA National Tournament last month. The Mids bowed to Rutgers, 5-3, in the tourney.

Navy finished 2012-2013 at 28-5-1 (Photo / navyhockey.net)


The program's stellar season coincided with a pair of noteworthy dates in its history. Dahlgren Hall, until 2007 the home to the Mids' hockey team, opened 110 years ago this March, and it was forty years ago in 1973 that the hockey team first began play in the former armory.