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End of Season News Release

Missouri State Hockey Fans:

Although, the 2016-17 ACHA Division I hockey season has come to a close there are a few items the Missouri State Ice Bears organization would like to share with its fans.

First, the Ice Bears DI team ended the season with a 16-25-1 record and finished just outside the top 25 in the country while the Ice Bears Division III team is 26-6-1-1 and ranked No.4 in the Pacific region as they attend the D3 Regional tournament with the goal of a national championship.

Second, we are looking forward to the 2017-18 season and the Ice Bears Division I team is in the process of hiring a full-time coach in Springfield. With a full-time coach come many advantages such as: increased recruitment, enhanced practice performance, and on-ice strategies. His only job will be the on-ice development of the Division I team and the organization.

Adding a full-time coach means additional player fees. Even though there will be a small increase, Missouri State will still rank as one of the most economical options for hockey players around the country. Tuition is also one of the lowest in the state of Missouri, so student-athletes can receive a top-notch education while playing at a high level of hockey for a relatively low price tag.

The future of Missouri State Hockey is the brightest it has ever been.

Third, don’t forget to attend the Bears Fan Appreciation Day and Fantasy Camp on March 4. There will be a free skate with the Ice Bears at 6pm then the Bears Fantasy Camp will be at 7pm giving 30 lucky fans (for a $35 donation) the opportunity to play in a full scrimmage with 10 Missouri State Ice Bears. The scrimmage will consist of two teams of 20 players each with five Ice Bears on each team. This will be three 20-minute periods in a full game atmosphere with Public Address, music, and referees. Participants will get the full Ice Bear experience.

Registration can be made by using the “Contact Us” email form located in the upper right corner of this website.  Please state what you are signing up for and remember – we only have room for 30 skaters, so register ASAP. (You will need to wear full hockey gear, or have access to it. Gear will not be provided.)

Fourth, the Fourth Annual Ice Bears Golf Tournament will take place on April 1st, 2017 at Deer Lake Golf Course in Springfield. It’s a 2-man scramble with a shotgun start at 1 pm.  Proceeds benefit both the DI and DIII teams. Fee to play is $100 per person. Registration is from 11:45AM-12:45PM. Lunch will be served throughout the tournament.

We also have hole sponsorships available for $100. Please contact Rhonda Ashlock with any questions: 417-861-6631 or r.ashlock@missouristatehockey.com. A form for the registration and hole sponsorships will be posted soon.

An alumni hockey game will also be scheduled for the same weekend. Contact Ryan Armstrong for any questions regarding the alumni hockey game at: r.armstrong@missouristatehockey.com

Thank you for your support of Missouri State Hockey.

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Josh Bell rings in 2017 by joining Missouri State

SPRINGFIELD, MO — The Missouri State Bears have added a key piece to join them for the second semester of the 2016-2017 season. Forward, Josh Bell joins the Bears after two seasons with the Springfield Jr Blues of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) and the Wenatchee Wild of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL).

Bell was drafted 140th overall in the 2014 USHL entry draft by the Lincoln Stars and 28th overall in the 2015 NAHL entry draft by the Springfield Jr Blues.

Before his junior hockey career, Bell played for the St. Louis AAA Blues and for CBC High School. The Fenton, MO native scored 34 points in 34 games in last year of Midget AAA hockey.  

While playing high school hockey for CBC, Bell won three Mid-States Challenge Cup State Championships and even captained the team as a senior.

“I am very excited to have Josh joining our team. He is a strong, disciplined, player with skill and will be an important factor for us now and in the future. His NAHL experience should have him ready for Division I and WCHL competition immediately,” said head coach Bob Bucher.

The 6’0, 190 pound forward from Fenton, MO models his game after Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins.

While attending Missouri State, Bell will be studying business.

BelI chose Missouri State because it is close to home (St. Louis) and has a great business school. His relationships with current players on the Bear’s roster also aided in his decision to commit to Missouri State. “I get to play hockey with the boys, I am really excited.”

Bell hopes to help lead the Bears to the national tournament this season in Columbus and make an immediate impact during the second half of the season.

When Josh isn’t on the ice or in the classroom, he enjoys spending time with family and friends.

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Missouri State sweeps 5th ranked, Iowa State

SPRINGFIELD, MO — The Missouri State University Bears Division I hockey team hosted the fifth ranked, Iowa State Cyclones to Mediacom Ice Park on November 4th and 5th to end the finale between the two teams. “This series is starting to become quite a rivalry”, assistant coach Jeff Crenshaw said; “Our conferences have claimed the last two national champions and it seems every time a CSHL team plays a WCHL team; it seems to be a war. Our series with ISU is shaping up to be like that as well. Its fun hockey to watch.”

On Friday night, freshman sniper, Jake Champaign opened the scoring with an assist by junior Alex Turin. The Bears added another goal in second period and took a 2-0 lead going into the third period.

The fifth ranked Cyclones responded early in the third period scoring two goals to send the game into overtime.

Iowa State took an early penalty in overtime to give the Bears the 4-3 man-advantage and senior captain, Ryan Hogland capitalized with a Power Play goal to give the Bears the game 1 win.

Game 2 on Saturday night started the same way as Friday night’s victory with a Jake Champaign goal. “It was huge because it sets the momentum in our favor and gets all of us wanting to give it our all for the rest of the game,” Champaign said.

The score was tied at 2 going into the final period at Mediacom Ice Park, but Iowa State didn’t let that score last long as they punched one in past goaltender, Joe MacConnell.

Junior defenseman, Brennan Anderson knotted the game with four minuets remaining.

Both teams were preparing to head to overtime, but Missouri State’s Andrew Kovacich had other plans as he fired one between the ISU goalie’s legs to regain the lead for the Bears.

That score would hold true and the Missouri State Bears would go on to earn a game two win and sweep the fifth ranked Cyclones on home ice.

“It says a bunch about this group of guys. The bounces haven’t been going our way as of late, but the guys continue to not give up, and eventually,v that is going to pay off, just like it did this weekend against Iowa State,” senior forward Logan Lopicka said.

The Ice Bears have a week off before hosting the University of Alabama on Nov. 18 at Mediacom Ice Park.

Bears beat Augustana & Colorado State on 1st homestand

SPRINGFIELD, MO — The Division I Missouri State University Bears (ranked 24 in the country) earned six points in their home-stand against Augustana, Colorado – Boulder, and Colorado State.

In the first game of the 2016-2017 campaign, the Bears were able to rack up seven goals while allowing zero to start the season off with a win. In the second game, more dominance occurred with the Bears scoring 11 goals and once again allowing zero. Senior goalie, Joey MacConnell, stopped all 36 shots on the weekend giving him an early lead in the stats category of the ACHA. Junior, Alex Turin, also added his own flare to Saturday night’s contest with one of the best highlight reel goals you will ever see. You can check out the goal at http://www2.tsn.ca/bardown/Story.aspx?Young%2bhockey%2bplayer%2babsolutely%2bembarrasses%2bhis%2bopponents%2bwith%2ba%2bfantastic%2bgoal&id=589247

The weekend against Augustana was the first chance for Bears fans to get a look at the deep 2016 recruiting class that features 13 new players from all over North America and Europe. “Honestly, it (the weekend) was fantastic,” Ice Bears head coach Bob Bucher said. “We were able to get all of the young guys into the system, get rid of the butterflies and get ready to play.”

Thursday night, the #10 ranked Colorado Buffalo entered the confines of Mediacom Ice Park. The Bears killed of quite a few penalties but had a lapse for about 5 minuets in the first period where the Bears quickly gave up 4 goals. That would enough to earn the win on road ice for CU as the Buffalo’s took the WCHL opener by a score of 9-2.

The Bears were able to awaken from hibernation for a big bounce back win vs Colorado State on Friday night. Missouri State was able to score early and often defeating the Rams by a scored of 8-1.

In the series finale, the story of the game was Freshman goaltender, Brady Griffin, and some of the unfortunate bounces late in the third period. Griffin quickly battled back after allowing a goal just 15 seconds into the 1st period by making 41 saves the rest of the night. The Rams didn’t hold onto the 1-0 lead long as Freshman forward, Zane O’Bryan scored his first career collegiate goal to tie the score at 1. Not long after that, Junior defenseman Brennan Anderson added another tally as the Bears took a 2-1 lead going into the second period.

The score remained knotted at 2 before the Rams scored a Power Play goal to take the lead with three and half minuets left.

Colorado State held onto the lead late in the third period when the reigning WCHL Rookie of the Year, Marshall Gevers, streaked down the far side boards on a breakaway only to be stopped by the referee who happened to get accidentally got into the lane that Gevers was skating in. Two minuets later, Colorado State would score the game winning goal after a scramble in front of goaltender, Brady Griffin.

Missouri state went 3-2 in their home stand to start the 2016-2017 season. “You always wanna win in your own barn but it’s the nature of the league we play in,” said Bucher. “When you’re playing in a league that traditionally carries five or six teams out of eight going to a national tournament, it’s anybody’s game on any given night.”

“It was an awesome experience. This is a fun place to play, good team to play with,” Griffin said of his first game. “It’s a good feeling. I’m excited for the next four years for sure.”

The #24 Bears will travel to Ames, Iowa for their first road test of the season as they battle the 2016 National Champion Runner Up, Iowa State Cyclones on September 23 and 24.