Division 3 ACHA Nationals Start Wednesday

03/07/11 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Once again it's time for 16 teams to converge on one central location with the hopes of being crowned the ACHA Division 3 National Champion for the 2010-2011 season and I will be there to call the games.

All games will be shown FREE on FAST Hockey and i'll post my schedule once I arrive and find out my game assignments.

My Schedule of games:

(All times Eastern, times are start times)

Thursday

10:30 am - Florida Gulf Coast vs Mc Kendree

4:30 pm - College of the Canyons vs Loyola

7:30 pm - Hope vs Robert Morris

Full schedule -----> click here

After a tough regional showcase, the pools are now set for the national tournament in Holland Michigan:

Pool A is lead by College of the Canyons (21-2) who are the #1 seed from the Pacific.  They will be facing Saginaw Valley State (D3 National champs the past 2 seasons), Loyola-Maryland (17-5) who were handed 4 of those losses (1) in overtime (3) in a shoot out, and Fredonia State (12-4-0-1).

Pool B is lead by California University of Pennsylvania (22-1-0-1) who are the #1 seed and have scored 170 goals, the most in the Atlantic.  Their pool also includes Florida Gulf Coast (27-7-0-2, #1 in the South), Davenport University (24-10-0-2) who have scored 214 goals and are tied for first in the North division, and McKendree University (17-6-1) who are the first Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association (MACHA) team to make an ACHA National tournament since St. Louis University did as a Division 1 team.

Pool C features Central Florida (23-10-0-1) as the #1 seed from the South, scoring 198 goals in 34 games.  The UCF team will be playing Farmingdale State (19-3 and 2nd in the Atlantic), Colorado State (17-8-0-2) who has half the team scoring in double digits, and Michigan State (20-4-0-1) who have only given up 50 goals in the regular season.

Pool D features Hope College (24-2-0-1 and last season's runner-up for the 2010 D3 National title) who enter the tournament as the #1 seed from the North.  Their tournament path goes thru Colorado (22-4-0) a team that has only given up 37 goals on the road, Robert Morris (12-4) and Florida Atlantic, ranked #7 in the south.

 

D2 Ice Bears League Playoff Run Ended

02/18/11 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - A Missouri State Ice Bears' bid for a third Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association Gold Division title was halted by the Saint Louis Billikens in the second round by a score of 8-5 at the Owens Center in Peoria, Illinois.

The Ice Bears won their quarter-final game against Illinois State on Friday 4-3, and had the momentum knowing they had knocked off the #3 ranked Redbirds.

-----> Game #1 Story

WSR To Cover Division 3 Team's ACHA Run

02/16/11 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - It's going to be a challenge to switch gears and try to learn the Missouri State Ice Bears' Division III players names in a week, but that's the case after deciding to cover the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division III Regional playoffs in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

-----> Game Replay

The Division II team qualified in 6th place for the Mid America Collegiate Hockey Association Gold Division playoffs playing #3 Illinois State at 5pm at the Owens Center in Peoria, Illinois on Friday.

A win means another game Saturday at 5 pm against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

After a lengthy discussion about whether to travel west to Colorado or east to Illinois, the phrase: "Go west, young man" came to mind.

Ranked 9th in the ACHA Pacific region, the Division III team will play #4 Nebraska on Friday at 2:45 pm in Honnen Ice Arena, and WebSports Radio will have the ACHA regional game for you live starting with the pre-game show at 2:35 pm.

ACHA Division III Schedule

Friday February 18

9:15am - #6 McKendree Bearcats (8) vs. #7 CSU-Northridge Matadors (6)

12:00pm - #3 Iowa State Cyclones (5) vs. #10 New Mexico Lobos (1)

2:45pm - #4 Nebraska Huskers (6) vs. #9 Missouri State Ice Bears (3) EN

5:30pm - #5 Colorado State Rams (7) vs. #8 South Dakota State Jacks (2)

Saturday February 19

12:00pm - #3 Iowa State Cyclones (3) vs. #6 McKendree Bearcats (7)

2:45pm - #4 Nebraska Huskers (3) vs. #5 Colorado State Rams (8)

McKendree University and Colorado State move on to the ACHA Division 3 National Playoffs in Holland, Michigan at the Edge Ice Arena on March 9th thru 12th, 2011.

The Scenario

McKendree University, also in the MACHA Silver Division South Conference, could face Missouri State in round two. This game would mean a one MACHA team could play for a chance of heading to the ACHA Nationals.

All it takes is #5 Colorado and #10 New Mexico to win their games. They would play each other as the lowest and highest seeds. Then an Ice Bear and Bearcat win would mean they would play for a birth in the big show.

Get Your Pajamas Ready It's Midnight Hockey

02/11/11 - LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY - Las Vegas isn't the only city that doesn't sleep at night. When most normal people would be sleeping or thinking about heading to bed, the Missouri State Ice Bears will play the Kentucky Wildcats at Lexington Ice Center on Saturday morning at 12 am Eastern (11pm central) in Lexington, Kentucky.

Game #2 will be Sunday morning at 12 am (11 pm CST).

The UK ice hockey team, once called the Cool Cats, have earned a No. 10 spot in the Division II Southeast Region after the latest American Collegiate Hockey Association rankings.

The Wildcats (17-10-1) play the remainder of the regular season at the Lexington Ice Center, which usually fills up despite a late start.

Missouri State (11-19) has clinched a spot in the Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association league tournament after a weekend without a win against Lindenwood which is ranked 4th in the ACHA DII Central region.

Join us for the pre-game show at 11:50 pm Friday and Saturday on WebSports Radio.

 

Missouri State / Lindenwood Hockey Delayed

02/04/11 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Continuing snow has delayed the start of the Ice Bears game against the Lions. The game will start at 7:15 pm Central time to allow fans and players to arrive safely.

Watch/Hear Game #2

Looks Like I've Made A Mistake With MACHA

02/01/11 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - It's not the first time, and probably not the last. Given the information I had available when figuring out the Ice Bears possibilities of making the Mid America Collegiate Hockey Association (MACHA) Gold Division playoffs, it turns out that I've made a mistake.

Missouri State is in 5th place, but has not clinched a playoff spot as previously thought. A 4-point game between Kansas and Iowa (when the first scheduled game could not be played) has put a wrinkle in the standings.

The Situation

The Ice Bears have 14 points but have completed their MACHA schedule. Kansas, is now 6th with 10 points, but have 3 games with St. Louis (2) and Missouri (1) left to play. The Jayhawks are the only team to hold a tie breaker against the Ice Bears.

Iowa is 8th with 8 points and still has 4 games left: Missouri (2) and No. Illinois (2), while Missouri is 9th with 6 points and 5 games with Iowa (2), St. Louis (2) and Kansas (1) to go.

Missouri and Kansas play Thursday, February 3rd.

Thanks to my trusted statistician here's the plot:

The Scenario

There are four scenarios which could affect MACHA playoff spots.

1) Kansas wins out:  The Jayhawks would be in and so will the Ice Bears because Iowa will only have 12 points.

2) Missouri wins out:  The Tigers are in, and Kansas would be in if they win their other games, since at 14 points, they will win the tiebreaker with the Ice Bears.

3) Iowa wins out:  The Hawkeyes are in, and Kansas could be in if they only lose one of their remaining 3 games.

4) Missouri & Kansas go into overtime:  They could both get in with 15 points if they win the remainder of their games.

The Bottom Line

If any of this happens the Ice Bears are in the MACHA playoffs:

A) Kansas loses two of their remaining 3 games (St. Louis away 2 games and home 1 game with Missouri). Two losses or one tie and one loss would keep the Jayhawks below the Ice Bears in points.

B) Missouri loses one game and that would keep them below the Ice Bears based on a tiebreaker.  After the Thursday game with Kansas, the Tigers play home and away games with St. Louis.

Not only will these games be critical for the Tigers, they would be important for the Billikens to win this coming weekend. A sweep will move St. Louis in to second place (and a first round bye) since they have the tiebreaker with Illinois State, based on head to head goal differential.

C)  Iowa loses one game which keeps them below the Ice Bears based on a tiebreaker.

Theoretically, when Iowa meets Missouri the weekend of February 11th, if both teams split, the Ice Bears are in - but this assumes Missouri wins against Kansas and sweeps SLU while Iowa would sweep NIU this weekend.

So, with all the playoff possibilities, the race to the MACHA playoffs will be exciting the next few weekends.

 

More Important MACHA Games With Mizzou

01/27/11 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - The Mizzou Tigers head into Mediacom Ice Park for another important set of Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association games this weekend.

The Ice Bears are in 5th place in the MACHA Gold Division with 10 points and a sweep will secure a spot in the playoffs.

A packed house between the Ice Bears and Tigers

Missouri resides in 8th place with 6 points, but have 7 games left and 14 possible points.

The Ice Bears won the last meeting, the ShowMe Showcase game, by a score of 5-3. With the win, Missouri State has won the last 3 regular season games and 12 of 13 since the '06-'07 season.

The Ice Bears have out scored the Tigers 73-36 in those games. The only loss was 3-0 in the '08-'09 MACHA semi-finals.

Watch/Hear Game #2

Important MACHA Games With SIUE Next

01/21/11 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Two big Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association games with the Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Cougars await the Missouri State Ice Bears as they return home for 6 straight games.

SIUE tops the league at 12-2 while the Ice Bears are 4-8 and hoping to move into a playoff spot in the Gold division.

Watch/Hear Game #2

Date And Time Change For Games With ISU

12/15/10 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - When the Missouri State Ice Bears start the second half of the 2010-2011 hockey season they will face a few changes not only to the schedule, but with the loss of 5th-year senior defenseman Joe Cero.

Games with the Illinois State Redbirds, ranked 8th in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division 2 rankings, have been rescheduled due to a concert booked at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, Illinois.

Originally scheduled for Friday, January 14th and Saturday 15th, the series with the Redbirds have been moved to 12:30pm on Saturday and 9:00am on Sunday, Jan. 15th.

The Ice Bears' D3 games with the Ice birds will also move to Saturday the 15th at 3:30pm in the Pepsi Ice Center, next to the U.S. Cellular Coliseum, and Sunday the 16th 11:40am in the U.S. Cellular Coliseum

Cero (5 goals, 28 assists, career) played his final games on the same defensive line with his brother Pete during the series against the University of Kansas on December 10th and 11th in Overland Park, Kansas.

Head coach Tony Dunseith said other then Cero the team will stay together for the second half of the season. As for practices, Dunseith says players will skate on their own during the semester break in Springfield and St. Louis, where most of the team is from.

Watch/Hear Game #2
 

First Half Of Season Games End With Kansas

12/10/10 - OVERLAND PARK, KS - The Missouri State Ice Bears travel to the Pepsi Ice Midwest Arena to play the Kansas Jayhawks, who have yet to win a game this year. Missouri State will finish out the first semester games this weekend, which are the final games for Senior Joe Cero.

Note: Game two on Saturday originally scheduled for 3pm has been rescheduled for 1pm central time due to a scheduling conflict at the arena. WSR will have the pre game show at 12:50pm.

Watch/Hear Game #2

Will Annual Thanksgiving Game Stop Streak?

11/20/10 - WEBSTER GROVES, MO - Having won all three previous Show Me Showcase games, the Missouri State Ice Bears were looking keep at least one streak going.

MACHA Rival Saint Louis Visits Missouri State

11/19/10 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - The Missouri State Ice Bears host Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association rival Saint Louis University in the final home games of the 2010 part of the season.

Watch/Hear Game #2

Road Trip Ends With Lindenwood Lions

11/12/10 - WENTZVILLE, MO - The Missouri State Ice Bears will try to take games from the Lindenwood Lions Ranked #1 in Division 2 of the ACHA Central Region. The Ice Bears are trying to break an 8 game losing skid.

Watch/Hear Game #2
 

Big Test With Division 1 Bronchos In Oklahoma

11/04/10 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Some types of streaks can be good, and some can be considered bad. Not winning a game in 6 tries has to be frustrating enough for the Missouri State Ice Bears, let alone talk about it.

You have to go back to the Ice Bears Inaugural season, 2001-2002, as the last time a Missouri State team had lost 7 straight games.

Since then the Ice Bears have hovered near the 6 in-a-row mark in 2004-2005 and 5 in-a-row stretch during the 2006-2007 and 2009-2010 seasons.

Games with the University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos will be a turning point for the Ice Bears.

It's a weekend which could bring up memories as the series that turned the tide against what may be thought as an insurmountable task: Breaking a 6-game losing streak on the road against the Bronchos, and win a game for the first time since October 9th.

The UCO Bronchos have out scored the Ice Bears 51-24 in 10 games and despite the fact that 4 of the 10 games have been one goal games, the last 3 losses have been by 4-goal margins.

The one win for the Ice Bears came in overtime on January 19th, 2007 at Mediacom Ice Park (the only time Central Oklahoma traveled to Springfield) when Joel Livingston found Bobby Saitta alone in front of Bronchos goalie Justin Sgro and blasted the puck from 15 feet winning the game with :47.3 seconds left in the extra period.

Andy Draper (above) and Tyler Polizzi are the only active players with goals against the Bronchos. (Photo: Rhonda Armstrong)
Watch/Hear Game #2

Razorbacks Next For Ice Bears; Both Have Streaks

10/28/10 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Last season the Arkansas Razorbacks brought a 17 game winning streak into Mediacom Ice Park. Although the Ice Hogs (as they're also known as) extended the streak to 18 with a 4-3 overtime win in game #1, the Missouri State Ice Bears broke the stretch with a 9-0 win the next night.

This season Arkansas (7-3) is riding a 2-game losing streak after losses to D3 Davenport and Florida Gulf Coast at the Tennessee Hockey Fight Breast Cancer Invitational last weekend.

The Ice Bears (7-6) are reeling from two losses against Illinois last weekend and Northern Illinois two weeks ago.

Andy Draper leads the Ice Bears with 13 goals, 25 assists and C. J. Jung (7G, 14A) is second in points. B.J. Norman (7G, 6A) is third. Jung has the lead in plus-minus at +18, and Draper is +16.

Taylor Shea (6G, 9A) is the Ice Hogs scoring leader, and Justin Gaddy (5G, 7A) is second in scoring. Johnny Stromp (8G, 2A), who scored the overtime winner last season, leads Arkansas in goal production.

Read Game #2 Story Watch Game #2
 

Hoping Home Heals: Ice Bears Home After Sweep

10/21/10 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - For the first time since the 2004-2005 season, the University of Illinois Fighting Illini will visit the home of the Missouri State Ice Bears, Mediacom Ice Park for games this weekend.

Missouri State (7-4) welcomes the homstand after the Northern Illinois Huskies swept the Ice Bears for the first time since the 2004-2005 season.

As for the University of Illinois, the Ice Bears are 3-2 lifetime versus the Illini and have won the last 3 games in a row which dates back to last year's 4-2 win in Champaign, and a February, 2005 sweep at home by scores of 5-1 and 3-1.

Missouri State has been outscored 13-27 in those games, but the numbers are misleading due to 10-0 and 13-1 losses during the Ice Bears' Inaugural season.

Andy Draper becomes the leading active scorer with one goal, on the power play, at 2:35 into the second period of last season's game.

The Illini (4-4) are coming off a split with the Depaul Blue Demons (5-8, 6-1) last weekend and a sweep by the hands of the Lindenwood Lions (7-2, 5-4) in Wentzville, Missouri.

ICE BEARS NEWS AND NOTES

Andrew Clifton will miss Game #1 as the result of a disqualification given at the end of Saturday's game with Northern Illinois.

Joe Cero (hand) and Paul Saitta (hand) are questionable for this weekend. Tyler Polizzi (knee) who missed the last 2 games, skated in practice and will play this weekend.

Draper leads the team with 10 goals and C. J. Jung is the assist leader with 13.

B. J. Norman is second with 7 goals and Draper is second with 10 assists.

D3 TEAM

Jack Barrett and Sam Dean, who moved to the D3 team have been a tremendous help for the squad. In 6 games, Barrett has 10 goals and 9 assists including a hat trick and the game winner in overtime against the Robert Morris University-Springfield Eagles on October 8th.

Dean has 3 goals and 2 assists in as many games.

Chad Dewitt, who suffered an injury during the Ice Bears mini-camp, returned to the D3 squad and in 4 games has 7 goals and 3 assists for the team.

Blake Ryan leads the team with 12 goals and 10 assists including 7 powerplay goals.

The D3 team has won 7 games in a row dating back to a 6-5 win versus Robert Morris - Chicago (White) on September 25th.

Read Game #2 Story Watch Game #2
 

No. Illinois Road Trip Breaks Up Homestand

10/15/10 - ON THE ROAD IN ILLINOIS - The only road trip for the Missouri State Ice Bears in October is against the Northern Illinois Huskies, at two arenas in Illinois.

Game #1 will be played Friday at Hoffman Estates Ice Arena in Hoffman Estates at 8:45 pm, and game #2 will take place Saturday at 9 pm from Leafs Ice Center in West Dundee, Illinois.

We will have a WebSports Radio Live Tv broadcast on Friday, but Saturday's game may be an audio only broadcast depending on which rink the game is played on.

ICE BEARS NEWS AND NOTES

At 7-2, this is Missouri State's best start since the 2007-2008 season, when the Ice Bears lost the first two games of the season then won 11 straight, including a game where the team overcame four 1-goal deficits to subdue the Illinois State Redbirds 5-4 in overtime on a shot from Joel Livingston.

Missouri State gets Miguel Franco (shoulder) back in the lineup but will be without Tyler Polizzi (knee) and Paul Saitta (hand) for the trip.

The Ice Bears are 6-0 at home in Mediacom Ice Park scoring 41 goals and allowing 11. On the road the Ice Bears have a record of 1-2 scoring 11 goals and giving up 16.

Andy Draper leads the team in goals with 10 lamp lighters, and B. J. Norman is second with 7, while Paul Saitta has 6.

C. J. Jung has 12 assists, Draper has 8 and Polizzi is 3rd with 5.

On the power play, the Ice Bears are a respectable 26.1% (12 for 46) and 83.9% on the penalty kill despite starting 95.7% early in the season.

Read Game #2 Story Watch Game #2

Ice Bears Launch Big Homestand In October

10/01/10 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Four out of five weekends in October will be home games for the Missouri State Ice Bears.

EASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

The Ice Bears face a former MACHA Gold Division foe and the Panthers, who play their first games of the season this weekend.

Read Game #2 Story Watch Game #2

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY-CHICAGO

This weekend they play the Loyola University - Chicago Ramblers for the first time in team history.

The Ramblers have not played for two weeks, but Missouri State knows not to take teams like Loyola too lightly.

Read Game #2 Story Watch Game #2
 

Big Test With GMHL Teams For Missouri State

09/19/10 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Teams from the Great Midwest Hockey League (GMHL) have won the American Collegiate Hockey League (ACHA) Division 2 National Championship title 5 of the past 6 season, so playing the Ferris State Bulldogs, a GMHL member, may prove to be a tough test of what the new Missouri State Ice Bears is made of this weekend.

Both tilts with the Ice Bears will be the Bulldogs first games of the season.

Game one Friday night is set for 7 pm Eastern time (6 pm Central) at the Ewigleben (pronounced A-VAH-glave-in) Ice Arena in big Rapids, Michigan, a place that was not too friendly to the Ice Bears two seasons ago.

Vs Central Michigan  
Read Game Story Watch Game

Missouri State dropped a 5-4 decision on January 8th, 2009 and tied game two 5-5 the next night on John Odenwald's goal late in the 3rd period.

Saturday's game time has been moved to 4 PM making way for the NCAA Bulldog team to play.

Last season the Ice Bears dropped two at home the weekend of October 2nd, 2009 by scores of 5-3 and 7-4. Missouri State has not won against the Bulldogs in 5 games dating back to a 6-5 defeat in the ACHA D2 Regional's on February 17th, 2007.

The last meeting with Central Michigan was also a one goal loss, 4-3, on January 10th, 2009 which took goaltender Mike Poepping out of the game midway through the second period with a hamstring injury.

Missouri State is 0-2 versus the Chippewas losing 5-3 in Game #1 of the same ACHA Regional tournament on February 16th, 2007.

ICE BEARS NEWS AND NOTES

C. J. Jung (3G, 4A) and Andy Draper (1G, 6A) are tied for the scoring lead two games into the season. Paul Saitta (3G) and Tyler Polizzi (3G, 1A) are tied with Jung for the team lead in goals. Draper is the team's assist leader, with 9 Ice Bears having at least one helper. B. J. Norman has two.

The Ice Bears have not allowed a goal in the 3rd period this season.

After going 60% on the powerplay (3 for 5) in the opening game of the season, Missouri State has settled to 36.4% (4 for 11) after a pair of games. They improved to 94.7% on the penalty kill allowing just 1 goal in 19 opponent opportunities.

Rookie Andrew Clifton picked up his first goal as an Ice Bear in his second game with the team on September 18th.

First Home Opener For Ice Bears In 5 Seasons

09/17/10 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Opening at Mediacom Ice Park for the first time in five seasons, the Missouri State Ice Bears host the Iowa Hawkeyes.

The Ice Bears have lost 4 in a row to the Hawkeys with their last win, 5-2, coming on October 13th, 2007 at Mediacom Ice Park.

Iowa was also instrumantal in breaking the Ie Bears 35 MACHA game winning streak.

Ice Bears 10 Year Logo Released

08/22/10 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - The Ice Bears 10-year Anniversary Logo, a symbol recognizing 10 years of Missouri State Hockey, was released today. A big celebration is planned for Opening Night on September 17th at Mediacom Ice Park against the Iowa Hawkeyes.

This will mark first time in 5 seasons the Ice Bears will face off at home since a September 17th, 2004 opening with the Mizzou Tigers.

 

Dunseith Named 4th Coach In Ice Bears History

07/06/10 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Back for his second stint with the Missouri State Ice Bears, Tony Dunseith will take over the reigns of the Division 2 team starting with the 2010-2011 hockey season.

An assistant coach with the Ice Bears for the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 seasons under Benjamin Alexander (119-76-9 from 2001-2007) it's a change in circumstance that gives the Springfield resident the opportunity to return to coaching college hockey.

"Working with the team, administration, and players was very rewarding, unfortunately other commitments did not allow me to continue," said the USA Hockey Master Level coach.

"I have missed the opportunity to coach the team and help to develop the program," stated Dunseith. " Today the timing is great for me personally."

"First and foremost I believe in the MSU Ice Bear Program. (General Manager) Stan Melton, (Assistant General Manager) Curt Bussen and many others need to be recognized for running one of the best ACHA D2 and D3 programs in the country," Dunseith said about his new job.

Just the fourth coach in Missouri State Hockey history, Dunseith follows Mike Schroeder's two seasons behind the bench during the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons.

Schroeder lead the Ice Bears to a 41-33-2 record, one Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association (MACHA) Semi-Final Tournament appearance, one Championship appearance, and an American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Regional Tournament appearance.

Ice Bears Coach Tony Dunseith

"We appreciate Coach Schroeder's willingness to commute from St. Louis to help the Missouri State Hockey program over the past two seasons and what he has accomplished in such a short time with the team," said Melton.

Having a local coach will be a big plus for Missouri State who will have a tutor that hopes to continue the same winning philosophy and take the game to a higher level. That level Dunseith says starts in practice.

"Personally, I think most of the coaching is done during the week at practices and game time is where it is simply implemented and adjusted to fit the situation," explains Dunseith.  "Practice plans will be strong with specific intent and motivation and this will be the key to our success this year."

One problem teams have is playing a full 60 minutes of hockey. The Ice Bears are no strangers to this infliction, evidenced in a 4-3 overtime loss to the University of Arkansas last season, but Dunseith has a plan to cope with the possibility.

"We will design an off-ice 'dry land' program to help jump start the fitness level for the season," Dunseith states. "I would like to find a way to measure fitness levels at the first of the year and periodically check and show the players' results.  Measured results, good or bad, are a real motivator!"

He does however admit most of the practices can’t all be fun.

"Legs and desire are what get you through the third period.  I am a big fan of 'one on one' drills in practice that allow for a lot of creativity.  This type of drill, when implemented properly, provides personal player motivation and thus the competitiveness of the drills improve fitness in a manner that is more enjoyable," says Dunseith. 

For the first time in six seasons the goaltending duties are up for grabs after the graduation of Mike Poepping (Career: 53-38-1, 7 SO, 90.1 SvPct, 3.25 GGA) who was also elected to the 2009-2010 ACHA European Select Team.

Poepping along with Nic Zamora combined for an '08-'09 team record 203:32 shutout streak during a four game span from November 7-15, 2008.

Mike Poepping in his final game as an Ice Bear

The team has also seen netminders Mike Brown (2004-2005 to 2007-2008) and Kevin Rekowski (2003-2004 to 2006-2007) play during winning Ice Bear seasons.

Both combined to create a strange situation on September 30, 2006 during a 5-4 loss in a shoot-out to the University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos. Rekowski played 60 minutes, and after a scoreless 5-minute overtime, the game went into a shoot out.

Alexander elected to put Brown in the net. Both teams traded scores and it came down to a sudden death shoot-out with the Bronchos' AJ Alfrey putting the puck over Brown's shoulder for the win. Brown became the goaltender of record, given the loss, and did not face an official shot in the game.

"I was coaching when we had three strong goalies that at anytime could play well and help control the game.  This year we are wide open.  We have some good recruits that we will be paying a lot of attention to during our mini camps.  I am optimistic that we will have a strong goalie group again this year," says Dunseith.

Veteran goaltender Zamora looks to take the lead in nets and is one player familiar with an aggressive playing style, something that Dunseith says will be part of his philosophy this season.

"I like aggressive defensive players when they play within a predefined system and communicate well with our forwards," says Dunseith. 

Goaltender Nic Zamora went 3-1 during '09-'10

"My personal style is to incorporate the defense into a very strong offence. Certainly this can put more pressure on a goalie so we will have to work on the trade off’s between defense and goal scoring."

The new bench boss says he will be looking to improve upon the slow power play start last season (10% eventually ending up at 24.4%) by searching for the right combinations during practices, something Dunseith says will have to be earned.

"Our practice plans will be focused with intent, and that includes working on the power play and penalty kill.  Finding the right defensive and offensive pairings and groupings will be earned and defined," says Dunseith. 

He feels being a part of either the penalty kill or power play units equal more ice time. 

"The guys that step up and produce results week in and week out will be part of these 'special teams.'  They are a critical part of the game and I will look for the right guys who will be in these positions."

Ultimately Dunseith is looking to unite both the Division 2 and Division 3 teams toward a common goal of winning.

"One of my first goals is to work closely with Tim Tobin and the MSU Ice Bear Administration and unite the program, making our efforts benefit both the D2 and the D3 teams," Dunseith explains.

"Setting expectations of the program the teams and the individual players will help create this unity.  It is clear that we have had and will continue to have talented players want to play for the Ice Bears.  These players have been coached well and individually are very skilled," says Dunseith. He adds, "I want to  merge these individual skill sets and play as a team exploiting our strengths by putting the right skill sets together in the right place and time."

Now, as season 10 draws near, the time has come for a new ice age.

Tentative Ice Bears Hockey Schedules Released

05/01/10 - SPRINGFIELD, MO - Several new teams and new rivalries are on the 2010-2011 schedule for the 10th Missouri State Ice Bears hockey season. Along with the regular Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association (MACHA) league foes including the University of Iowa, University of Missouri, Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, Saint Louis University, and Illinois State, the Ice Bears will open at home for the first time since the 2004-2005 season. (Click here for the Ice Bears 2010-2011 Schedule)

They will host the Iowa Hawkeyes, ranked 8th in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Central Division in 2009-2010 on September 17th and 18th, the earliest start since a meeting with the University of Missouri on September 17th, 2004.

Also scheduled is a home and home series with the Lindenwood Lions, ranked 4th in the ACHA Central Division, who also won 2 games in round robin play at the 2010 National Finals in Simsbury, Connecticut from March 17th to the 19th, and finished ranked 7th in the ACHA final standings.

Missouri State will also play newcomer Loyola University - Chicago (from MACHA Silver) who is replacing Eastern Illinois University in the MACHA Gold Division.

The University of Illinois Illini will head to Mediacom Ice Park for a pair of games during homecoming week on October 22nd and 23rd and the following week the Ice Bears will host the University of Arkansas, with hopes of avenging a 4-3 overtime loss to the Ice Hogs last season.

Road games this season will include a trip to Ferris State, Northern Illinois, and the traditional games with the University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos in Oklahoma City.

Other stops include the University of Kansas before the winter break in December, Illinois State, and a new twin-bill with the University of Kentucky and their well known "Midnight Madness" games on February 11th and 12, 2011.

JV TEAM MOVES TO DIVISION 3

It was announced at the team's annual banquet that the Ice Bears JV Team will move to ACHA Division 3 and officially be called "the D3 Team".

"This will be a great move for the D3 team as they will now be able to challenge for a National Championship," said Ice Bears General Manager Stan Melton.

With over 280 teams in Division 2, it has become difficult for teams in Division 2 to rank in the top 10 spots of the Central Division and guarantee a trip to the ACHA Regionals, a qualifying tournament, for a bid to the National Championship tournament.