Stanford Joins PAC-8 Hockey Conference


It’s official: this season Stanford will be joining the Pacific 8 Intercollegiate Hockey Conference, otherwise known as the PAC-8. As the West Coast’s premier college hockey conference, the PAC-8 competes within Division II of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), and is comprised of member schools Arizona State, San Diego State, UCLA, USC, San Jose State, Cal, Boise State, Washington State, Washington, Eastern Washington, and Western Washington. Stanford was invited to join the PAC-8 this year in light of their excellent record last season, and the program’s remarkably rapid growth. Said Head Coach Spencer Mains: “The PAC-8 brings much more exposure to our hockey program, and with that we are hoping it will attract more fans, media coverage, and maybe even some new players.”

This will mean Stanford’s departure from the much smaller PCHA, a local conference that includes bay-area teams like UC Davis, Santa Rosa, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz. Don’t worry — the local rivals aren’t going anywhere, and will be on the 2019-2020 schedule alongside new PAC-8 opponents. The rough schedule for this upcoming season can be viewed here, and promises several exciting matchups against opponents the Cardinal hasn’t seen in a number of years. The season will open with a back-to-back weekend of home games against USC on October 2nd and 3rd as Stanford hopes to jump out to an early lead in the conference. Of course, no Stanford hockey season would be complete without the annual ‘Big Freeze’ matchup against bay-area rivals Cal Berkeley, who will face off against the Cardinal twice on October 30th and November 13th. “I’m excited to play UC Berkeley officially as part of the PAC-8,” said Captain and Team President Woody Wang. “We’ve fielded a more and more competitive game each year against them, and it’s about time we take back the Big Freeze Title.”

Stanford lines up for the National Anthem ahead of the last season’s Big Freeze in Oakland

After a challenging homestand against Washington State and Arizona State, Stanford will end the year with a northern road trip to Seattle, where they’ll play Washington twice on February 5th and 6th. And, if the season goes as planned, the Cardinal will earn a bid at the PAC-8 playoffs in Lake Tahoe. You can check out the full schedule (with locations) here, though times are TBD and elements are likely to change in order to adapt to challenges presented by COVID-19.

This is an incredibly exciting time for Stanford Ice Hockey, and joining the PAC-8 represents a major step forward for our team. Under the leadership of Mains, who joined as Head Coach last season, our program is growing rapidly; adding key new players and expanding the coaching staff. “Stanford Hockey has improved tremendously each and every season, and this push for the PAC-8 is the culmination of years of hard work by the players, coaches, fans, and alumni,” said Wang.

In addition to our updated website, we’ve launched new team instagram and facebook pages, where you can find all the latest updates and content. As fans, one of the most important things you can do to support the team is to follow us on social media! Speaking of supporting the team, we need your help — with our new schedule and rapidly growing program, our budget has also drastically increased to support new road trips, league dues, and more ice time for games and practices. Stanford Ice Hockey receives very limited funding from the University, and mostly relies on individual member dues to finance the team. Please consider checking out our donation page, where you can help support our team in this critical time. Thank you!

We’re hope you’re as excited as we are to join the PAC-8 and kick off an amazing season. There will be lots of updates and news coming soon, so be sure to stay tuned on our website and social media pages!