William Paterson University hockey is moving up to the big stage.
The Pioneers, a perennial American Collegiate Hockey Association Division 2 power for the past decade, will be ascending to ACHA Division 1 this fall. That’s the same level that the likes of Penn State and Arizona State ruled as club powerhouses before eventually moving up to the NCAA.
The Pioneers finished their 2017-18 campaign ranked fifth in ACHA Division 2 with a 31-3-0 overall record. WPU fell to eventual national champion Florida Gulf Coast University at the national tournament in Troy, Mich., after defeating Adrian College and Northern Colorado. Prior to nationals, WPU had claimed its sixth and final Super East Collegiate Hockey League crown after topping Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 6-2, in Danbury, Conn.
The move to ACHA Division 1 was finalized in December. The Pioneers will now compete in the Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association along with Drexel, Navy, Villanova, Towson, Penn State Berks, Temple and Lehigh, with Drexel having won the past two ECHA titles.