UNION LAKE, Mich.--For the first time in its history, the Adrian College women's hockey team affiliated with the American Collegiate Hockey Association is ranked No. 1 in the ACHA Division I coaches' poll released this week.
The Bulldogs have started the 2016-17 campaign on fire, winning 10 games in a row that includes eight victories over four nationally-ranked opponents: then-No. 6 Grand Valley State (2-1 and 3-0 on Oct. 14-15), then-No. 11 Davenport (4-1 and 4-0 on Oct. 21-22), then-No. 9 Michigan (5-1 and 1-0 on Oct. 27-28) and previously top-ranked Miami-Ohio (1-0 and 4-3 on Nov. 11-12).
"We are very happy with the start of our season so far and look to continue improving every day," said fourth-year Adrian ACHA women's hockey coach Brett Berger, who has led the program to a 66-23-12 record for a .713 winning percentage since his arrival during the middle of the 2013-14 season. "This milestone in our program history is not just simply about the 28 girls on the roster this year, but every player that has been a part of this program since its inception four years ago. It has taken a lot of effort and time to build this program and we appreciate everyone that has helped from the administration on down.
"We are excited to keep playing hard and earn everything each time we step onto the ice. I am extremely proud of the girls this season and look forward to watching us improve each week."
Adrian is a balanced team inside either blue line. Offensively, the Bulldogs sport a 32-goal differential as eight different student-athletes have scored at least one goal and 20 have registered at least one point.
Freshman Britt Levasseur (Pepperell, Mass. / Lawrence Academy, Groton, Mass.) has scored eight of the team's 39 goals. The forward also leads the team with 13 points. Sophomore Nicole Paradis (Orangeville, Ontario / Mississauga Chiefs) is the top playmaker with 10 assists among 12 points.
A trio of goaltenders led by junior Alison Dungey (Hamilton, Ontario / Hamilton Hawks) has given up only seven goals all season, providing the backbone of the AC defense. Dungey is 8-0 with a sparkling 0.75 goals-against average and .962 save percentage while seeing 480 minutes between the pipes. Senior Jessica Fabbro (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario / Burlington Barracudas) is an offensive-minded defenseman who has totaled 11 points on six goals and five assists.
ACHA D-I Women's Hockey is believed to be the fourth sport at the College to receive a No. 1 national ranking based by a poll, joining NCAA Men's Hockey (accomplished eight times, most recently last season), Bass Fishing (for three weeks in Sep. 2016) and ACHA Division I Men's Hockey (during the 2012-13 season).
Adrian will be tested again this weekend when No. 5-ranked Liberty comes to town at Arrington Ice Arena at 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, but this time as the nation's top-ranked squad.
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(Editor's notes: Photos courtesy of Carly Costello...information about all-time No. 1 poll rankings by Adrian Athletics was updated to this story at 9:25 p.m. on Nov. 16, 2016)