Opening Night 2018!
September 13, 2018
NAHL hockey fans have waited 122 days since the last NAHL game when the Shreveport Mudbugs hoisted the Chuck Robertson Cup back on May 13th.
Tonight, hockey is back as the 2018-19 NAHL regular season gets underway with two games in the South Division, both of which have intriguing story lines.
The NAHL and its 24 member clubs enter the season riding a wave of momentum. This past season, the league once again set a new NCAA commitment record, this time finishing with 331 total NCAA commitments during the 2017-18 season. That also includes a new record total of 229 NCAA Division I commitments this past season.
The commitment record is part of an ongoing and rising development path that has seen 1,345 NAHL players make NCAA commitments during the last five years. In addition, 25% of freshmen that played NCAA Division I hockey this past season were alumni of the NAHL.
This season marks the 44th year of the NAHL, which began during the 1975-76 season as the Great Lakes Hockey League.
The Shreveport Mudbugs will open up their title defense of the Robertson Cup on Thursday night as they host the Corpus Christi IceRays. The last team to repeat as Robertson Cup Champions was the St. Louis Bandits in 2008 and again in 2009.
The other game features the Odessa Jackalopes visiting the Topeka Pilots in the Pilots inaugural game under their new brand, new ownership, and new head coach.
Three of the four head coaches in the two games tonight (Jason Campbell, Shreveport - Ryan Cruthers, Corpus Christi - Simon Watson, Topeka) are new to the NAHL and will be making their head coaching debuts.