Spartan hockey building a foundation in second season

The Aurora University hockey team is seven games into the 2013-2014 season and hold a 6-1 overall record. Wins have come against Marquette University (5-4), Robert Morris University (7-4), Northwestern University (9-2 and 11-1) and University of Iowa (8-0 and 10-0).

Spartan fans have noticed a significant improvement in the program’s second season of competition with the 2012-2013 Spartans finishing with a 0-12 record.

“We had a great year recruiting student-athletes that were solely focused on the growth of the hockey program. The group this year strives to improve every day in the classroom and on the ice,” said AU Head Coach Ryan Buchanan. “I am forever grateful to last year’s team as they were the ones that laid the foundation. This year’s team is now laying the groundwork to make Aurora University Hockey a program that will give prospective student athletes a fantastic educational and on ice experience.”

AU has varsity (blue) and junior varsity (white) teams competing in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA). The white team has a 1-1 record with their first games of the year coming this past weekend against Robert Morris University at the Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva, Ill.

Beginning in the 2014-2015 season, AU will have a varsity team competing in the NCAA Division III as part of the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (conference) while the junior varsity team will continue to play in the ACHA.

“Going to the NCAA level is a big jump and we hope to combine the talent we have now with more talent and become competitive at the NCAA level very soon,” said Buchanan. “We have a good base and we look to build upon that as we move forward.”

Spartan hockey fans can catch AU in action against Robert Morris University—Springfield on Friday, October 18 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 19 at 6:00 p.m. at the Fox Valley Ice Arena. The junior varsity takes to the road for over a month and returns to home action on Saturday, December 7 against Augustana College at the Fox Valley Ice Arena at 7:10 p.m.