The Ice Men Conquer
TAGS: Athletics

The 2018-2019 season was a historic one for the AIC men’s ice hockey program. After a mere three years under the leadership of head coach Eric Lang ’98, ms ’08, the ice men of American International College achieved unprecedented victories, awards and accolades, gaining national acclaim and elevating the program to new heights.

With an overtime goal off the stick of junior center Hugo Reinhardt, the AIC Men’s Ice Hockey Team topped Niagara 3-2 in the conference tournament final on March 23, 2019, to claim its first-ever Atlantic Hockey Conference title.

THE MOMENT OF VICTORY: Junior Center Hugo Reinhardt #13 scores the winning overtime goal against Niagara University, sealing their status as 2019 Atlantic Hockey Champions. Photo Credit: Nick LoVerde Photography

With the dramatic victory, the Yellow Jackets punched their ticket to their first-ever NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship Tournament where they pulled off an upset for the ages. AIC shocked the college hockey world, taking down top-ranked St. Cloud State 2-1 in the West Regional in Fargo, North Dakota, on March 29, 2019. It was the team’s first tournament win at the sport’s highest level. AIC fell the following night to No. 6 Denver 3-0 in a hard-fought game to bring the historic season and an immensely successful postseason run to an end.

#18 BLAKE CHRISTENSEN
#18 BLAKE CHRISTENSEN

It was a season of firsts for the Yellow Jackets. In the postseason, the Yellow Jackets earned their first national tournament appearance and victory and first Atlantic Hockey championship. In addition, AIC captured its first regular season title and earned a national ranking for the first time as a Division I program, breaking into the USCHO.com Division I Men’s Hockey Poll and ultimately ranking at No. 16 at the season’s end. As a team, the Yellow Jackets set new Division 1-era records for wins in a season (23) and goals in a season (129).

#33 ZACKARIAS SKOG
#33 ZACKARIAS SKOG
Photo Credit: Simple Moments Photography

2018-2019: A SEASON OF FIRSTS

FIRST NCAA NATIONAL TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE, DEFEATING #1 OVERALL SEED ST. CLOUD STATE
2019 ATLANTIC HOCKEY CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS
2019 ATLANTIC HOCKEY REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONS
RANKED 16TH IN THE FINAL USCHO D-I MEN’S POLL
MOST WINS IN AIC HOCKEY D-I PROGRAM HISTORY
ERIC LANG NAMED CHN, AHC, AND NEHJ AHC COACH OF THE YEAR,
RUNNER UP FOR THE 2019 SPENCER PENROSE AWARD
BLAKE CHRISTENSEN HONORED AS CCM/AHCA HOCKEY ALL-AMERICAN EAST SECOND TEAM, NAMED NEHJ AHC PLAYER OF THE YEAR AND NAMED TO THE NEW ENGLAND HOCKEY WRITERS ASSOCIATION MEN’S D-I ALL-STAR TEAM AND ALL-USCHO THIRD TEAM
BLAKE CHRISTENSEN AND BRENNAN KAPCHECK NAMED FIRST TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE
AND NOMINEES FOR HOBEY BAKER AWARD
BRENNAN KAPCHECK AND JOEL KOCUR NAMED TO NCAA TOURNAMENT All-WEST REGIONAL TEAM
ZACKARIAS SKOG NAMED AHC TOURNAMENT MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER
BLAKE CHRISTENSEN, JANIS JAKS, RYAN POLIN, HUGO REINHARDT, AND ZACKARIAS SKOG NAMED TO AHC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
RECEIVED A CONGRATULATORY VIDEO FROM MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER
SPRINGFIELD MAYOR DOMENIC SARNO PROCLAIMED MARCH 15, 2019, AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE MEN’S ICE HOCKEY TEAM DAY
AN UPSET FOR THE AGES
Competing in its first NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship tournament, AIC shocked the college hockey world, taking down top-ranked St. Cloud State 2-1 in the West Regional in Fargo, ND, on March 29, 2019.
Photo Credit: Simple Moments Photography
AIC’S IRON MAN
Senior captain Shawn McBride set a new record for games played by an AIC men’s ice hockey player against St. Cloud State in the team’s West Regional semifinal win, breaking a tie with former AIC captain Bryant Christian ’18. McBride’s final game against Denver on March 30, 2019, marked his 151st collegiate game. He went on to become the first AIC hockey player in recent memory to make the jump from college to the AHL, signing an Amateur Tryout contract with the Hartford Wolfpack. Photo Credit: Nick LoVerde Photography

THE ICE MEN WILL RETURN FALL 2019

We’re ready to make history again. Are you ready to join us?
Get your 2019-2020 season tickets now or become a part of the team as an official
aic hockey sponsor! Individual, corporate, and family packages with discounts, perks,
exclusive memorabilia, and reserved seating options are available.

For season tickets, email hockeytickets@aic.edu
For sponsorship information, visit aic.edu/hockeysponsorships
Questions? Call 413.654.1738

Photo Credit: Leon Nguyen ’16