The NMU Men’s Club Hockey program participates in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) which is recognized by USA Hockey as the only alternative to the NCAA. The ACHA is designed to give students the opportunity to play competitive college hockey while attending school. The ACHA host 5 National Championships each season and offers players who excel the opportunity to travel internationally as part of the ACHA selects national team. Players and Teams who participate in the ACHA receive USA Hockey benefits and membership.
The program is also a proud member of the Northern Collegiate Hockey League (NCHL) which is currently one of four conferences operating in the Central Region. The NCHL is comprised of teams from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. The NCHL gives teams a very competitive conference schedule, runs a conference tournament, offers individual awards and participates in the ACHA All-Star challenge.
The team goals remain the same every season. We want to win the conference, advance to Regionals and Nationals with the goal of winning the National Championship. We believe our success has been a result of such high expectations and we challenge our players both physically and mentally to be prepared every day. It will not take very long for new players to understand what it takes to win at this level. We require our players to be successful on the ice, in the classroom and in the community.
The Men’s Club Hockey team is committed to building on its recent success by offering players one of the best college hockey experiences in the ACHA. The program is designed to replicate the operations of a successful NCAA D3 program and to offer a solid alternative to D3 hockey. The Cat’s practice 3 nights a week (4-5 hours) primarily at the BEC on campus at NMU. Practices are conducted by the Coaching Staff and will be designed to continue skill development and to teach and improve team philosophies and systems. A weight training program and access to the PEIF is strongly recommended and players can work with the coaches to formulate a program. We feel every player should continue to grow and develop playing hockey in the program here. The program is very demanding and requires students to balance hockey and academics. We feel this is a key piece to student athlete experience and teaches skills outside of hockey such as solid study habits, responsibility and time management.
The team plays 35 regular season games each season. This does not include the conference tournament and any ACHA Regional and National playoff games. NMU Club Hockey travels exclusively by Charter Bus and provides all overnight lodging. Travel makes up roughly 40% of the teams budget. It is our goal to provide a safe and enjoyable travel experience for our players.
The team provides players with one of the best equipment and apparel packages in the ACHA. We provide players with gloves, pants, jerseys, apparel and even offer special ACHA pricing on equipment including sticks and skates from Warrior, Reebok, CCM and Sherwood.
We hold three practices a week and have 2 to 3 games in a weekend (except holidays). When we do travel, we leave early in the morning on a Friday and return late Saturday evening or Sunday morning. This means most weekends will be spent traveling with the team and fulfilling play obligations. We still expect the players to use time management to be able to fulfill their academic responsibilities.
Travel and Schedule
The team has decided it is both cost effective and in our best interest to keep travel within our region, with exception of the national tournament and the ACHA showcase. Players should expect to travel to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Lower Michigan. Trips will range from 2 hours (Michigan Tech) to 12 hours (Iowa, Illinois). Players will be given travel details weekly at Wednesday practice.
$2500 for the season
This money goes to cover the teams operating budget. It covers equipment and apparel (bus and hotel, ACHA, NCHL and USA Hockey membership, game operations like game officials and ice cost, Bauer gloves, team bag, tape, pants or shells, practice jerseys, game socks, and some team issued apparel). Game jerseys are provided but are property of the club.
This dues DO NOT include: meals/food on the road and green team helmets. Due to size and fit we do not feel it is in our best interest to provided players with helmets. We instead have a team program set up with a local retailer so players can purchase the helmet they prefer. We will do a team order right after try outs and players will be responsible to pick up the cost of the helmet.
Player Development Camp (Cost: $25)
The team runs a camp for current and prospective players every March during Wildcat Weekend at NMU. This is a great opportunity for prospective players to come check out NMU. The player and his family can check out the hockey program but can also meet and talk with people on the academic side of NMU as well.
Tryouts (Cost: $50)
Tuesday, August 16, 10-11:30 PM (Optional)
Wednesday, August 17, 10:30 PM-Midnight (Optional)
Thursday, August 18, 9-10:30 PM
Friday, August 19, 7-8:30 PM
Saturday, August 20, 2-3:30 PM
Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday Evenings in the Berry Events Center
The regular season will begin with games the weekend of September 30 and will continue through mid-February or even mid-March depending on post season play. Regular practices will begin Monday, August 22.
All returning players and incoming players who have the information are encouraged to pre-register.
First payment for hockey will be due within a week of final roster being posted. The first payment will be 75% of the season dues .
A second payment will be due on November 1. Any player not able to make these dates can set up a payment plan with the approval of the head coach and Executive Board for the team.