the response I get more often than not when talking about East
Carolina's hottest new team. In just its second year, the ECU
hockey team is turning heads, making a name for itself and gaining
respect on more than just a local level.
If you haven't yet been out to see the ECU hockey team, you're missing
out on the best sports team ECU currently has to offer. The
hockey team is non-scholarship, (in fact the team members pay to play)
division III, and plays out of the ACHA (American Collegiate Hockey
Association) which is comparable to the NCAA.
The Pirates accumulated a 9-1 record through the first half of the
season, with their only loss coming in non-conference play, 5-4 to 15th
In the latest division three national rankings ECU was ranked 35th, out
of 116 teams.
The Pirates inaugural season was nothing to sneeze at either. ECU
went an impressive 11-4 in its first year, earning a birth in the Blue
Ridge Hockey Conference playoffs, and they took full advantage.
The Pirates went 2-1 in the tournament, including a win over Southwest
Division champion Clemson that sent the Pirates to the championship
game. It was in that game where the Pirates would suffer their
only loss of the tournament, 6-4 to BRHC champion Richmond.
The Pirates went into the break this season (teams take about a month
off at the midway point from early December to January) with an
impressive 9-1 record, and looked to start the second half with the
The Pirates second half began at "The Canes Cup," a non-conference
tournament featuring teams from the region. The Pirates 1st ever
appearance didn't start the way they had hoped as ECU dropped its first
two games 5-2 to Duke, and 6-3 to NC State. Pirates coach Wayne
Cox said he wasn't worried as much about the losses, as he was about
the team's loss in momentum and confidence heading into the second half
of the year. After all both Duke and NC State are division II
opponents. Cox's worrying ended however when ECU won its final
game in the tournament 4-3 over tournament champion Virginia Tech.
For ECU Head Coach Wayne Cox, the goal is simple. "I want to win
the conference," Coach Cox said. It may be a simple goal, but the
possibilities go much farther. The ACHA is broken into four
regions with four teams from each region advancing to the
nationals. The Pirates are grouped in the South region, and
currently sit ninth in the South standings. "Once you're there,
who knows what could happen," said Coach Cox.
Getting into that top four grouping is possible, but it won't be
easy. Winning the conference would certainly help, but the best
opportunity to make some noise might be when the Pirates travel to face
2nd ranked Kennesaw State (ACHA-South) on January 26th. The
Pirates also play in the South Region tournament in early
Your chance to see, and hear the team will be much sooner than
that. Join me and assistant coach Todd Carter for live coverage
as ECU plays host to conference rival Appalachian State this Friday
January 19th at 9:30pm, and Saturday the 20th at 3pm inside Bladez on
Ice in Greenville. Both games will be broadcast live on the only
source for live ECU Hockey, Pirate Radio 1250 and 930 AM.