Kansas hockey continues turnaround, comes in at No. 23 in latest ACHA D3 rankings

From The University Daily Kansan

By Gabe Daniel


For the first time since the 2019-20 season, the Kansas hockey club has found itself in the ACHA’s Top 25 for Division III.

With the way the 2022-23 season ended, cracking the rankings is the last thing that was expected.

“I would tell them that they’re lying,” junior forward Caleb Dusseau said. “Seeing how far that we’ve come as a team from this year to last year, all the new guys that we’ve gotten, and how well we’ve been able to mesh it’s been better than I could have ever asked for.”

Last year, the team had only won three games. Heading into their winter break, it sits at 10-6-0 on the season.

“Last year, obviously we only won three games. … This year we are at 10-6,” Dusseau said. “So it’s the mindset going into every game is we can win. Like we have the confidence to go into games and come out on top, whereas last year it was, ‘Okay, how soon can we get this over with?’ It’s been a completely different flip of a switch. It’s been amazing to see.”

The buy-in and commitment have drastically improved, and the team has players able to contribute on all cylinders.

“We are so much more than just skill. We don’t rely on one or two guys to do everything,” Dusseau said. “It’s a full team effort, and I think that coaching has really helped. … Everyone’s holding each other accountable. It’s been a complete turnaround from last year.”

Sliding into the rankings is a good feeling, but it doesn’t feel good enough for Dusseau, the team captain.

“Not satisfied at all. We need to get better,” Dusseau said. “We have a goal to go to nationals, and I think we can get there. The job’s not done until it’s done, so we need to keep pushing and get to where I know we can be.”

The Jayhawks have five games left on their schedule: Jan. 26-27 on the road against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Feb. 2-3 on the road against the Omaha Mavericks, and then the much-anticipated Rivalry at the Rink at home against the No. 13 Missouri Tigers on Feb. 29.

“This is a new look Kansas Jayhawks hockey team, and I’m very excited for the rest of this year and the following years to come,” Dusseau said. “We’re going to be we’re going to be a team to watch.”

(Originally published at https://www.kansan.com/sports/kansas-hockey-continues-turnaround-comes-in-at-no-23-in-latest-acha-d3-rankings/article_45f79fe2-85ac-11ee-81fe-a351b930b374.html)