How Long Are College Hockey Periods? [Answered!]

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The NHL season is over, and though you might have a hockey season hangover, there’s still plenty to be excited about outside of the frozen four-ball. With the World Cup of Hockey coming up this August, many people are already looking ahead to the next hockey season. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how long are college hockey periods?

Like many sports, college hockey periods are relatively short. Unlike many sports, though, college hockey isn’t played by mostly young athletes; rather, it is a popular sport among both older and younger generations alike. Thanks to initiatives like the Big Ten Network and the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship, which started in 2006, the sport has gained greater recognition and popularity. That, in turn, has led to more people playing and enjoying college hockey, which, in turn, has led to more people asking “how long are college hockey periods?” Let’s take a look.

Short On the Ice, But Longin the Offseason

The length of the college hockey season varies by conference and by the number of days there are in the week, but, for the most part, it is between 50 and 60 games. That means there’s a lot of hockey to be played over the course of a season, and fans should take advantage of it. Unfortunately, that also means there’s a lot of downtime between games, as well as during them. The good news is that unlike many other sports, players and coaches don’t have to wait until the next season to play again. Thanks to initiatives like the American Collegiate Athletic Association’s (ACAA’s) Ice Hockey Academic Consortium, which was established in 2012, students can continue their education even while playing ice hockey at the collegiate level.

An Education Even While Playing Ice Hockey

Though it might not seem like it, being a college hockey player is a lot like being in school, as there are classes and assignments you have to take care of, as well as a continuous quest for knowledge. To that end, the ACAA’s Ice Hockey Academic Consortium was established in order to help players manage their school work and their athletic duties. The Consortium, in turn, offers a number of ways for players to stay on top of their game, academically and, more importantly, professionally. That means they can continue playing the game they love even while pursuing a higher education. According to the ACAA, over 70% of its members plan to continue their education after their athletic careers have ended. That, in itself, is pretty good for a sport that is relatively short on the ice, but long in the offseason. It also means there’s plenty of opportunity for players after they’ve graduated from college.

Collegiate Players Are The Future Of The NHL

One of the more recent phenomena swirling around the NHL is the rising popularity of collegiate players. There are a number of reasons for this rise, but one of the biggest is the increased number of quality Division I athletic programs. That alone puts more talent in the pool for NHL teams to draw from. But, as we’ve established, college hockey doesn’t get a lot of attention, so much so that people sometimes forget that the best hockey players in the world might be found in the NCAA. This is a problem, because the majority of NHL players are, in fact, college students. Thanks to initiatives like the aforementioned ACAA Ice Hockey Academic Consortium, which helps connect students with resources and assists with their college hockey education, this problem might be solved. In 2018, there were 6,600 undergraduates playing in Division I ice hockey, an increase of nearly 40% since 2012. That’s a lot of talent, and it points to a greater appreciation for the game among future generations. One of the more prominent members of this rising generation is Jack Eichel, the first overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Though Eichel only played one season of college hockey, he amassed 51 goals and 69 assists for 120 points in 42 games, good enough for first place in NCAA Division I scoring. This season, he led the ECAC to the Frozen Four before falling to Penn State in the semifinals. In addition to his on-ice success, Eichel has been active in the community, establishing the Jack Eichel Foundation, which donates equipment and supplies to children in sport-related need. Additionally, in 2018, he served as the co-captain of Canada’s national junior team at the World Juniors. The ECAC, or the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference, was arguably the best American conference this past season, and it will continue to produce quality hockey players for years to come. These players are the future of the NHL, and that’s something to be excited about.

Conclusion

Like many other sports, college hockey has evolved as a result of changing times and new technology. Though the season length has shortened, the off-season has become longer, as teams have had to adjust their training schedules as a result of the increasing number of games. That, in turn, has led to more people playing and enjoying the sport. Short on the ice, but long on the offseason, it’s safe to say that college hockey is here to stay.

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