The Adrian men's ice hockey team has been an offensive juggernaut since joining the NCAA in the fall of 2007. Since then, the Bulldogs have accumulated 979 points, potted 368 goals and won 63-of-70 games played.
But there's another number that their fans are fixated on: 0.
Zero, as in the number of times the program has been invited to Division III's championship tournament.
For the past two seasons, Adrian has won their conference championship, yet did not earn an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. That's because their conference—the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association—has never been awarded one by the NCAA since the conference's inception in 1998.
That all changed on April 14, 2009 , when the NCAA informed the MCHA that —starting with the 2009-10 season —their conference tournament champion would be welcomed into the 11-team NCAA tournament. Still, Adrian is out to prove that they are a legitimate contender and scheduled a difficult a non-conference schedule.
That slate included two road matchups with 10th-ranked Hamline , before tonight's game with Oswego State. The result of that trip was the Bulldogs' first two-game losing streak since the beginning of their inaugural season; a 6-5 defeat on New Year's Day followed the next day by a 7-3 thrashing.
Tonight, they'll look to avoid the program's first three-game losing streak. They'll also look to attain the program's first victory over a top-ranked team —in their very first try.