How WVU club hockey competes at the NCAA level | WVU Club Sports

Four years in the past, Wyatt Murphy used to be satisfied his hockey occupation used to be over. In highschool, he suffered an harm all the way through his junior yr and ended up lacking his complete senior season.

Now, he is a captain for the WVU Division I males’s hockey crew.

“West Virginia hockey is one of those things people kind of find by accident,” Murphy mentioned. “It’s one of those things where people don’t realize that hockey here is legit. It’s here to stay. It’s growing.”

The WVU hockey program is in contrast to every other sports activities program inside of the faculty. It’s outlined as a club crew and is not affiliated with the University.

The crew is administered via the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), which is cut loose the NCAA. WVU’s crew, on the other hand, nonetheless performs towards NCAA groups.

The ACHA permits colleges to have a couple of groups. WVU has males’s groups in all 3 divisions in addition to a Division II ladies’s crew.

One main distinction between the hockey program and different WVU sports activities is that the crew is self-funded excluding a stipend from club sports activities. The crew has to pay for ice leases from the Morgantown ice area — the place they follow and play — apparatus, resorts, referees and go back and forth prices.

Each yr, this prices gamers more or less $2,500.

The crew is in a position to recruit however can not be offering scholarships. Some gamers, like Murphy, check out and make the crew.

The crew additionally operates similar to a standard collegiate game.

“We’re practicing three days a week. We’re working out twice a week,” WVU D-I hockey head trainer Shane Buckley. “We’re doing video sessions and study halls. And so from that aspect, there are a lot of elements that would be similar to an NCAA hockey organization. The biggest difference that we have is that we’re not fully funded by the school.”

While the crew can recruit, many would possibly marvel how a program that gamers must pay to be part of appeals to gamers.

There are handiest 176 overall males’s hockey systems in the nation with 123 on the ladies’s facet. The ACHA makes collegiate systems extra to be had than the sparse variety in the NCAA.

While now not an NCAA program, Murphy and Buckley have faith in the long term of the groups and hope to sooner or later change into an NCAA program.

“I think we’d all be lying if I said we were completely satisfied with where we are right now,” Buckley mentioned. “Obviously, the ultimate goal would be to have an NCAA hockey program at West Virginia. I think we’re a long ways off from that right now.”

“In the meantime, I think what’s most important for us is getting into the conversation of getting to national tournaments, competing for national championships.”

Even at their present level, Buckley mentioned the crew is having amusing and is getting higher every yr.

“We’re really excited to keep growing as an organization, as a program,” Buckley mentioned. “I know our guys are proud to represent WVU.”

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