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sports club hockey

Indiana club hockey defeats Miami in overtime, wins program’s first national title

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Indiana club hockey won the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Championships on March 15 in St. Louis, marking the program’s first national title in its 55-season history. 

The Hoosiers faced off against Miami University Redhawks and secured a 5-4 overtime win at the end of their five-game nationals campaign. 

Leading up to the Miami match, the club played against Weber State University, Northeastern University, Michigan State and Lindenwood University on March 11-14. The Hoosiers fell to Northeastern with a 5-2 loss but won every other game. 

Miami scored first with a goal from freshman defenseman Gus Anderson, but the score was quickly leveled by Indiana junior forward Will Gerami with 10 minutes left in the first period. 

Freshman defenseman Zach Hardy scored Indiana’s second goal with 38 seconds left in the first period, taking a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes. 

The second period was scoreless for the first 10 minutes until junior forward Ithan DeLorenzo increased Indiana’s lead to two. 

Miami responded with 4:22 left in the second period when freshman forward Gabe Dombrowski scored. The second period ended 3-2 with Indiana still in the lead. 

Freshman forward Jake Rock was the first to score in the third period, pushing Indiana’s lead back up to two.  

Miami University’s junior forward JT Kelly scored soon after, making the score 4-3. Neither team scored for the rest of the period until 1:05 was left on the clock, when Miami freshman defenseman Tyler Behl closed the gap. 

With the third period ending 4-4, the game was forced into overtime. The livestream of the game, which was hosted by FloHockey, crashed at this time, to the dismay of many fans who paid to view the game online.

Both teams had shots on goal throughout the overtime period, but DeLorenzo scored Indiana’s winning goal, securing the hockey club’s first national title.

Club hockey’s 2023-24 season was historically successful, both for the team and individual players. 

The Tri-State Collegiate Hockey League named DeLorenzo the 2023-24 Most Valuable Player of the league, junior forward Aidan Simoneau, senior goaltender Sammy Bilis and DeLorenzo All-Star selections and freshman Ben Rosenberg Rookie of the Year. 

DeLorenzo was also named a third team All-American for the ACHA Men’s Division II Southeast Region. A day after winning the national title, the MVP celebrated his 21st birthday. 

Club president and junior forward Drew Micheli said November 2023 the club has hopes of advancing to the ACHA Division I league one day. 

“I think we want to win everything in Division II first,” Micheli said. 

With the club taking this historic win, some are calling on IU to build an on-campus facility for hockey, a topic which has been under discussion among Indiana sports fans for years.

Indiana head coach Andrew Weiss said he appreciates the win for what it is without thinking far into the future. 

“The sky has been the limit for this program with the current culture,” Weiss said. “I think we are all enjoying this and not looking too far ahead, but I know this group is going to be hungry for another. 

Weiss also thanked previous teams for the work they put into the program. 

“There’s also the 54 seasons of alumni that it feels great for,” he said. “This program has had some great teams...So, to finally get it done, hopefully they can feel like they were a part of this.”

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