The Following Statement Was Release To SaultOnline.com Thursday Afternoon
The ACHA has made the prudent decision this afternoon to cancel the 2020 National Championships in Dallas, Texas due to the risks posed by the COVID-19 Virus. Falling in line with other professional sports leagues in North America, the ACHA felt that the potential risks to student athletes, fans and the 72 universities and colleges involved in this event were just too big to justify moving forward.
The Sault College Men’s Hockey program was only days away from departing for Dallas to defend their National Championship won last season at the Division 3 level. This year the only difference was that they were playing at the Division 2 level. The Cougars finished another highly successful campaign with a record of: 22 wins, 4 losses and 2 ties. They were also ranked 2nd in the Central division behind Lindenwood University heading into the National Championships.
Sault College’s Manager of Athletics, Paul Orazietti, was both disappointed and understanding of the decision handed down by the league today:
“Obviously we are devastated not to be able to play for another championship but the decision by the ACHA is the right and responsible one given the current global health crisis. I feel especially sad for our graduating players who will not have another chance to play in such a special event like this. Veterans like captain Ryan Vendramin (league MVP 2 years in a row) and assistant captain Austin Rowe deserved a better final outcome, without a doubt. Anyone who watched this team knows that this group of young men were the most dominate team in the ACHA at the Div. 2 level but it sure would have been nice to have been able to have proven it on the ice again. I want to thank Coach Mike Hall and GM Mark Hebert for assembling and guiding this championship caliber team. Despite not having a trophy to bring home this group will be remembered as winners without question.”