IceJacks’ Division II ACHA squad enjoying early-season success
The Northern Arizona University Division II team is off to a torrid start, but the IceJacks aren’t in their usual spot near the top of the ACHA West Region rankings.
The IceJacks opened the season 10-3 and with a nine-game winning streak. Their only losses were to Division I University of Arizona and two of those games were in Tucson.
NAU swept series against No. 18 San Diego State and Arizona State University’s Division II team, which is ranked No. 19, and beat No. 13 Cal State Northridge in a single game.
However, NAU was fifth in the Nov. 8 rankings.
“We just need to keep winning – we can’t sit there and cry about our rankings,” said A.J. Fairchild, NAU director of hockey operations.
Fairchild expects the IceJacks to move up if they continue winning because they have seven games in 14 days, all against ranked teams. They start with a trip to Utah for the Beehive Tournament, where they play Boise State, Utah, Utah State and Weber State.
“We know our destiny in our own hands, but rather than worry about the rankings, if we just play the games that are in front of us and we win the games we should, then the rankings should take care of themselves,” Fairchild said.
NAU played the first four of their eight games at the Prescott Valley Event Center. The first series was against Cal Lutheran, who the IceJacks beat 16-2 and 17-0. The other two were against Grand Canyon, while the next two series are against GCU again and then ASU.
“We think those games are going to be more successful,” said Fairchild. “We got a lot of the kinks out and we know what we need to work on.”
— James Kelley