Western Collegiate Hockey Level Rankings:
No. 1 Arizona State
No. 5 Central Oklahoma
No. 8 University of Oklahoma
No. 10 University of Arizona
No. 18 Colorado State
University of Colorado
As a newcomer into the ACHA Division I, Colorado State hockey has been faced with taking on teams in what head coach Kelly Newton and players believe to be the toughest conference in the league.
The Western Collegiate Hockey Level holds five ranked teams including No.18 Colorado State.
“I would say this conference is probably the most competitive one in the country as far as the league goes,” Nathan Strah said. “The other teams are usually in the top ten, even with us being a first year program we are making are way towards that.”
With one conference game under the belt, the Rams have a 1-0 record after defeating CU-Boulder at the Pepsi Center two weeks ago. This will be the second weekend on the road for CSU as conference play will begin against No.1 Arizona State on Thursday.
“If anything people might under estimate us with the record that we got,” Newton said. “We have been on the road for every D-I game here to date and played some of the best teams in the country and held our own to some point. We just need to play loose and wait for our chances.
The Rams set a goal at the start of the season to finish in the top four in the conference and advance to nationals. Currently ranked fifth, CSU will need to play the entire 60 minutes in order to reduce the risk of allowing opponents to close in.
CSU currently stands at 1-4 in D-I play and 7-8 overall. The Rams are headed into another tough three game road series before it will host an eight game home stand.
“I guess we need to win games to get respect from these teams,” Jordan Gnatowsky said. “We have to prove that we are a better team.”
Collegian Beat Reporter Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org