Montana Tech Hockey Hitting the Ice this Weekend
The Montana Tech Hockey team will host their home opener this weekend at the Butte Community Ice Center. The Orediggers will play Utah State, who advanced to the ACHA Division II National Tournament last year. The games are scheduled for 7:00 pm on Friday, September 26 and 2:00 pm on Saturday, September 27. Admission to each game this weekend is $5 for adults and students and $2 for children under the age of 12.
The Orediggers are in their sixth year as a team in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division II. Last year, Montana Tech partnered with Weber State, Utah State, Boise State, Montana State and Northern Colorado to form the Mountain West Collegiate Hockey League (MWCHL). Gordon Flanders, a professor in the Business Department at Montana Tech, coaches the team and Mary North-Abbott, a professor in the Petroleum Engineering Department, advises and manages the team.
Last year, the Orediggers went 16-7 on the year and the team was ranked 11th in the West Region (top four teams advance to Nationals). At the MWCHL playoffs in early March, Montana Tech beat Utah State in a shootout during the semifinal game and lost to Weber State in the League Championship game (4-5).
This season, Montana Tech has 17 returning players and had the largest turnout ever for tryouts. The Orediggers not only face opponents within their league but also bigger universities such as Texas A&M, Arizona State, Northern Arizona, University of Wyoming, and San Jose State. The Orediggers have their eye on Regionals at Arizona State in early March and Nationals at the University of Utah later that month.
Also, an item to note is that this summer, the Montana Tech Hockey team was named the best hockey team in the State of Montana by The Hockey News (http://www.thehockeynews.com/blog/who-is-the-best-team-in-every-american-state-we-made-a-map/#.U-4_ZVBdFAw.facebook). The article named the best hockey team in all 50 states.