Division 3 Team Heads to Annual Vanderbilt Scholar Shootout
November 8th 2019
The Alabama Hockey Club’s Division 3 team will be participating in the annual College Hockey Scholar Shootout tournament this weekend. The event is hosted by Vanderbilt University in honor of their hockey club’s founder Keith Davis, who passed away in 2011. This season, the four teams participating are Notre Dame, High Point University, Alabama and the hosting team, Vanderbilt.
Notre Dame (8-1-1)
The Fighting Irish have started the season off strong, going 3-0 on the road and 5-1-1 at home, with their only loss being a 5-4 loss to Calvin University. The Irish have played one team above .500, 6-4-1 Trine University, who they defeated by a score of 4-1. The Irish have two top 30 ACHA scorers in Ryan Renzuli and Lucas Hopkins, who have 24 and 23 points respectively. Renzuli is the team’s leader in goals with 15, while Hopkins leads the team in assists with 12. Notre Dame is a difficult team to score against, allowing only 16 goals the entire season. Three goalies have higher than a .925 save percentage. Noah Wamble leads the team in minutes played at the position and has 89 saves and has only allowed 6 goals on the season.
High Point (4-2-0)
High Point is an interesting team this year. They have a 6-2 loss against East Carolina in the season opener but have a 4-3 win over a Division 2 Duke team a few weeks ago. The club is not exactly an offensive powerhouse, scoring 21 goals so far this season, but they do spread the puck around. Twelve different Panthers all have goals so far this season, and seven have at least 3 points so far on the season. The club has played three Division 2 opponents so far this season, with a 4-3 win against Duke, a 7-4 loss to Virginia Tech, and have played North Carolina but I cannot find the result of that game. There have been two different players between the pipes this season for the Panthers, with Eric Smith posting a .887 save percentage and Jared Mines with a .794 percentage.
The Commodores are skating into the Scholar Shootout with momentum, following a dominating weekend sweep of SECHC and State rival Middle Tennessee. Unfortunately, the ACHA website does not have updated stats from those games, so it is difficult to get an accurate preview of the team. Vanderbilt has been noncompetitive in their two series against Arkansas and South Carolina, allowing an average of 8 goals a game during that four-game stretch, but the Dores managed to get back on track against Middle Tennessee (3-7-0), allowing only 4 goals across both games.
The Frozen Tide are 6-2-0 on the season so far and are going into the Scholar Shootout tournament red hot with a three-game win streak. The team is led offensively by Erick Reiniger, who has 10 total points and 5 goals so far on the year. Josh Beese leads the team in assists with 6 and has 8 points. The Tide have played two goalies this year, Chandler Hill and Sam Schilling. Hill has the higher save percentage , but Schilling leads the team in saves thus far in the season.
The Tide opens up play against Notre Dame Friday night. The Irish are the most dangerous team going into the tourney, with a fast offense and a stout defense. A fairly weak schedule to this point could be somewhat responsible for the inflated stats for the team, but they will be a tough team to play against. High Point, however, has played a tough schedule so far, with three Division 2 opponents and taking one win against those teams. It is hard to tell just how good the Panthers are, but they certainly shouldn’t be overlooked. Alabama will take High Point on Saturday night. The Tide finish tournament play against Vanderbilt Sunday afternoon. The Commodores are a wildcard in their own tournament. They did not perform well against Arkansas or South Carolina earlier in the year, but those two teams are two of the best in the SECHC. Sweeping a rival should always be considered a quality win since you never know how rivalry games could turn out, but the impressive performance of this new D3 team should make for an interesting and exciting matchup.
*All stats and records are from the ACHA website