By Art Chill
MAHWAH, NJ – In a bold move, the Ramapo College Ice Hockey Club has withdrawn from the Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference (MCHC) starting the 2018-19 season. The major reason cited is to upgrade the team’s schedule in order to qualify for regional playoffs. The last two seasons, the team compiled records of 26-1 and 18-8 but failed to make the ACHA Division III Atlantic Region playoffs. Strength of schedule was given as the reason. Head Coach Greg Jensen commented, “This program is advancing at an accelerated pace. We have an outstanding crop of very talented freshman and transfers. It’s time for us to make our move and schedule the top team in our region.” The independent schedule will include games with UConn, Delaware, Maryland, Loyola, Rowan, Stockton, Montclair (D-II), Farmingdale, Fairfield, Western Connecticut, Springfield, Southern Connecticut, and Quinnipiac.
In another unexpected move, the team has left Sport-O-Rama, the Roadrunners home rink for the last three years. The team will play at Ice Vault in Wayne, NJ. The rink is a triple-rink facility just 20 minutes from the College’s campus. Ice Vault was built in 2003 and added a third sheet of ice this past fall. Ice Vault is also home of the premier NJ Hitmen and NJ Bandits junior programs. In addition, a large number of north Jersey high school play out of Ice Vault. “Being there will enhance the recruitment process, said Coach Jensen. The rink change, and independent schedule will present many new challenges. I think we will be ready.”