Who The Heck Is American International College?
The #1 seeded St. Cloud State men's hockey team will open the 2019 NCAA Tournament Friday night at Scheels Arena in Fargo against American International College.
American International College is a private school located in Springfield, Massachusetts with an enrollment of just over 2,000 students. The Yellow Jackets have played hockey at the Division I level since 1998, while most of their other athletic programs are Division II.
American International is a member of the Atlantic Hockey Conference, which also includes RIT, Air Force, Mercyhurst and Holy Cross, among others. AIC won the conference's regular season title with an 18-9-1 conference record.
The Yellow Jackets are making their first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history after posting a 22-16-1 overall record during the season. The 'Jackets topped Army in the opening round of the conference tournament two games to one, before topping Robert Morris and Niagara to reach the NCAA Tourney.
"It's not a mistake that they won their league's regular season, then did it again in their playoffs," SCSU head coach Brett Larson said. "They are coached very well and have good structure."
"This is a team that has some skill, they play with pace and it's going to be a good challenge that way," Larson said. "It's not a team that's gonna try to dump and forecheck...this team plays hockey with skill and speed."
A familiar face to SCSU hockey fans on the American International roster is former Husky Ryan Papa, who played for SCSU from 2013-17 and is now a graduate player. High school hockey fans in the area are also likely to be familiar with former Alexandria Cardinals standout defenseman Parker Revering, who is in the midst of his freshman season at AIC.
The Huskies and Yellow Jackets will face off at 6:30 p.m. on The River 96.7 FM.