The Pitt Panthers (25-3-1, 13-0-1 CHMA) moved up one spot to No. 12 in the ACHA Men’s Division 1 rankings Wednesday.
|2021-2022 ACHA Men’s Division I Ranking #17|
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The Panthers are the No. 1 seed in the CHMA Tournament and have earned a first-round bye into the semifinals on Saturday, Feb. 19 at Gilmour Academy Ice Arena in Cleveland, Ohio at 4:30 p.m.
The CHMA is one of three Men’s Division 1 conferences that awards the playoff champion an automatic bid to the ACHA National Tournament in March. The other two are the Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League and the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. The eight automatic bids to the national tournament are:
- (CHMA) College Hockey Mid-America (PLAYOFF CHAMPION)
- (ECHA) Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association (United States Naval Academy)
- (ESCHL) Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League (PLAYOFF CHAMPION – Feb. 17-19)
- (GLCHL) Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League (No. 6 Adrian College)
- (MCH) Midwest College Hockey (No. 15 Maryville University)
- (NECHL) Northeast Collegiate Hockey League (No. 19 Niagara University)
- (WCHL) Western Collegiate Hockey League (No. 7 University of Central Oklahoma)
- (WHAC) Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (PLAYOFF CHAMPION – Feb. 18-20)
If Pitt wins the CHMA Tournament, they’ll earn the conference’s automatic bid. Should the Panthers lose in the semifinals or the championship, they could realistically earn an invitation as long as the club does not fall more than four spots in next Wednesday’s rankings. That is, if neither of the winners of the ESCHL and the WHAC are ranked in the top-20, those two, along with Navy, will bump the three lowest teams in the top-20. No. 19 Niagara cannot be bumped, so Pitt’s best hope for a national bid with a conference tournament loss is to stay within the top-16.