The Impact Tier 3 has on the College Hockey Game
March 31, 2016
To date, over 1/3 of all Tier 3 players aging out of Junior Hockey this season have committed to college for the 2016-17 season. As these players look forward to their college hockey careers, lets take a look back at what some former Tier 3 players achieved in the 2015-16 season.
NCAA D1 Points Leaders
Three of the top 10 NCAA D1 Points leaders came out of Tier 3.
Fourth in points in NCAA Division 1 this season was Zac Lynch, a Senior Forward from Robert Morris University. Morris logged 25 goals and 30 assists for 55 points through 39 games, averaging 1.41 points per game, while logging 4 game winners and his 8 short handed goals led all skaters. Lynch played 2 seasons with the Baystate Breakers from 2010-2012 while the Breakers were part of the EJHL. Lynch made his professional debut in two games for the Portland Pirates this season in the American Hockey League.
Ninth in points is Sam Anas who logged 24 goals and 26 assists for 50 points in 41 games for Quinnipiac this season. Anas played for the Washington Little Capitals of the Metropolitan Jr Hockey League in 2010-11.
Tenth in points was Joey Benik who earned 23 goals and 25 assists for 48 points, averaging over a point per game including 7 game winners. Benik played two seasons with the Minnesota Owls (former MNJHL) while still in High School from 2008-10.
NCAA D1 GAA Leaders
Fourth with a 1.82gaa ranks Senior Goaltender Kevin Boyle of UMass Lowell. Through 39 games, Boyle earned a 24-10-5 record and a .934 save percent. With over 2300 minutes between the pipes this season, Boyle registered the second most minutes in Division 1. Boyle played 3 seasons with the New Jersey Rockets from 2007-10.
NCAA D3 Points Leaders
Two of the top 4 Division 3 points leaders came out of Tier 3.
Third in points is Geneseo Forward Stephen Collins with 22 goals and 25 assists for 47 points. Collins played Tier 3 with the Green Mountain Glades of the EJHL through 2008-09, followed by a season of ACHA with Arizona State before transferring to SUNY .
Fourth in points is UMASS Boston Senior Forward Matt Lemire with 17 goals and 29 assists for 46 points. Lemire played four seasons of Tier 3 in the EJHL, 3 with New England and one with the Junior Bruins.
NCAA D3 GAA Leaders
Three of the top 5 D3 GAA leaders played Tier 3 Hockey.
Marian University Junior Goaltender Mike Baldwin ranks 2nd with a 1.60 GAA, earning a 13-4-3 record this season. Baldwin played two seasons in the WSHL for the Dallas Ice Jets from 2011-13.
Babson Senior Goaltender Jamie Murray ranks 4th with a 1.61 GAA, earning a 14-5-3 record. After 22 games with the Beavers, Murray went on to make his professional debut with the Allen Americans of the ECHL. Murray played a combined 21 games over two seasons at the Tier 3 level between the Baystate Breakers and South Shore Kings.
Fifth ranked Noah Klag earned a 1.65 gaa through 9 games (6-2-1) for Williams College. Klag played a season with the Valley Jr Warriors during his 2011-12 campaign.
The ACHA D1 National Tournament
The Lindendwood University Mens D1 squad finished the regular season with a 22-10-0 record, rostering 10 former Tier 3 Junior Hockey players. The Lindenwood Lions went on to win the 2016 ACHA D1 National Tournament with a game winner from St Louis Jr Blues alumni Mike Lozano in a 2-1 victory over Iowa State University. Also playing in that Championship game were 9 Tier 3 alumni on the Iowa State University roster including former Wisconsin Whalers Zack Johnson and Adam Alcott who assisted on the Cyclones lone goal. Nearly 250 Tier 3 alumni played at the ACHA D1 level through the 2015-16 season.
ACHA Division 1 Points Leaders
Three of the top four points leaders in ACHA Division 1 came out of Tier 3 Junior Hockey. Brewster Bulldogs alumni Kevin McGee ranked second with 30 goals and 47 assists for 77 points on the LeHigh Mountain Hawks roster. Former Long Island Royals Forward JT Hall logged 68 points for Stony Brook and former Twin City Steel Forward Jace Childs logged 62 points for Indiana Tech .
ACHA D1 GAA Leaders
The top 2 GAA leaders in ACHA Division 1 were former New Jersey Rockets Goaltender Matthew Schnoes who led all goaltenders with a 1.78gaa and former New Jersey Renegades goalie Ryan Heltion who ranked 2nd with a 1.84 gaa.
ACHA D2 Points Leaders
Four of the top five points leaders in ACHA Division 2 this season came out of Tier 3 Junior Hockey. Second year Arizona State Forward Ryan McNeely ranked second, logging 29 goals and 44 assists for 73 points through 34 games. A former Phoenix Knights skater, McNeely averaged over 2 points per game through his 2013-14 Tier 3 Junior Hockey campaign.
Third in points was Trevor Tracy who played 19 games through the 2011-12 season on the Helena Bighorns roster. Tracy logged 40 goals and 33 assists for 73 points this season for Loyola Marymount University.
Former Chicago Hitmen Forward Justin Rucinski ranked 4th in points with 28 goals and 40 assists for 68 points, averaging 2.4 points per game for Northern Illinois University.
University of Louisville Sophomore Henry Smith ranked 5th with 23 goals and 43 assists for 66 points. Smith played 3 seasons in the NA3HL on both the Queen City and Cincinnati Swords rosters.
ACHA D2 GAA Leaders
The top 4 ACHA Division II GAA Leaders Came out of Tier 3 Junior Hockey.
In his Sophomore season at Grand Valley State, Spencer Craig earned a 1.34gaa to lead all ACHA D2 goalies. The former Michigan State Mountain Cats (NA3HL) goaltender went 8-1 between the pipes this season including 2 shutouts.
In his Junior year with Florida Gulf Coast, former Portland Jr Pirates Goaltender Tyler Tracy ranked second with a 1.55gaa. (15gp, 13w, 4so)
Arizona State University Sophomore Jordan Gluck earned a 1.68gaa which ranked 3rd. Gluck played his 2010-11 campaign with the Philladelphia Little Flyers. Through 13 games, Gluck earned a 12-0-1 record for ASU this season.
Fourth ranked Andrew Krynicki earned a 1.78 gaa through 9 undefeated games for Rutgers this season. Krynicki played 5 games over two seasons at the Tier 3 level for the Jersey Wildcats.
ACHA D3 Points
In his Sophomore season with the University of Tampa, Matt Antonacci averaged over 3 points per game. At 5'8 195lbs Antonacci led not only all D3 skaters, but all players in ACHA in points, falling 4 points shy of a 100 point season. Antonacci played 4 seasons with the Springfield Jr Pics.
Every season, hundreds of Tier 3 players aging out of Junior Hockey advance to play and make an impact on college hockey.
If you are interested in playing Tier 3 Hockey, tryouts are beginning to post for the 2016-17 season. Many are posted for April/May and the rest will post soon for summer tryouts.
View tryouts page and find a team for the 2016-17 season