Much to the surprise of head coach Joe Sharrock, CSU club hockey was recognized this weekend for more than its third-place finish at nationals during the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s annual meeting.
“This convention was big, everybody from USA hockey to NCAA to the coaches association and the ACHA (CSU plays in the ACHA division II),” Sharrock said. “It’s pretty impressive to have coaches from all over recognize us.”
Perhaps the most impressive outcome was sophomore defenseman Jordan Stover being named 1st team All-American.
“I got a wake-up call on Sunday morning,” said Stover, who spent the weekend at his home in California. “It was such an honor; I didn’t expect it at all. I told my parents first thing.”
Even the coach was surprised at the award.
“It’s decent to get an award any time, but to get an All-American is a great honor,” Sharrock said. “He is one of the top two defenseman in the country at this level.”
Even beyond the personal achievements, CSU received another honor. Not an award, but rather a reward. Following a little preparation, and a love-for-the-game attitude, coach Sharrock gave a presentation that CSU and Edora Pool and Ice Center (EPIC) should host nationals next season.
“I was going up against professional marketing groups and food giveaways,” Sharrock said. “But with my power point and some commending from the CU coach, I think they saw the sincerity.”
Coach Sharrock was bidding against arenas that have held NCAA tournaments and other large tournaments, but he said that it was probably the sincerity of his presentation and the testimony of the CU coach who expressed the “crazy atmosphere” that landed next year’s national tournament in EPIC.
“If you think the CU-CSU games are good, we’re going to have the 16 best teams in the country here for a week,” Sharrock said. “If you want to see a huge event with lots of entertainment and some damn good hockey, it will be right down the street.”
CSU, who will also be hosting a Thanksgiving tournament, will welcome the nation’s best next March. But coach Sharrock also aims to please the fans all year with an intriguing schedule.
“We’re bringing in some good teams next year,” he said. “If you thought last year was good, wait for next season.”