The University of Northern Colorado club hockey team is off to one of its best starts ever.
This year could be even better than last year, but there is still a little under half of the season to be played.
At this point in the season, the Bears are (16-1-2) or won 16 games, lost one and tied twice.
UNC is on track to win the Big Mountain Hockey Conference (BMHC) assuming there is no late season let down in the forecast.
In the BMHC a win counts as three points, a tie as one point and a loss is zero points.
Currently, UNC sits at 34 points overall with the closest rival, Metro State, at 24 points and Colorado State in third at 12 points.
Only 26 of UNC’s points are conference points so the conference race is still close despite nine conference wins. (26 points instead of 27 since the OT win over CSU counts as two points)
Being undefeated in conference will be a major goal for UNC as the season still has high profile non-conference games to be played.
What’s Ahead for the Bears
UNC has several tough non-conference opponents left to play including: University of Mary, Texas A&M, Utah State, University of Washington and Central Oklahoma.
A loss still seems unlikely as the Bears have only lost once in 19 games played against impressive western region teams.
The lone team to beat UNC was the University of Mary by a score of 5-2.
Counter point to that is it was only game four on the regular season and the Bears have proven victorious in several ranked games and are defending their conference titles viciously.
University of Mary will visit UNC for two games in Greeley on January fourth and seventh to settle the best of three series.
Those two games will be extremely influential to the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Western Region rankings as the only team above UNC is the University of Mary with a record of (24-2-2).
Bears Number One in the West?
Fun fact, while University of Mary has every right to claim number one in the West and will on paper, according to ACHA rules first year teams are not eligible for postseason play.
University of Mary is on paper number one in the West, but taking into account playoff eligibility UNC is currently holding the position to be the first of the two automatic qualifier positions in the West.
Therefore, based on eligibility standings UNC is actually number one in the West.
Despite the superlatives, the season series will be decided for or against the Bears on Jan. 7.
Before that marquee matchup, UNC fans can rejoice as the Bears take on the Wyoming Cowboys in a home game (Friday) and away game (Saturday) as a tune up series heading into winter break.
Be sure to celebrate the end of finals week with a rowdy Bears hockey game Friday 8:30 p.m. at the Greeley Ice Haus.