The 2019-20 season turned out to be one for the record books for the Oakland ACHA DI Hockey team. After the 5-2 win Saturday night in Las Vegas, the regular season record finished at 20-9-2. The 20 wins was the most for the program since the 13-14 season.
This was the first season since Oakland became an ACHA DI program (2006-07) that the team finished the regular season with fewer than 10 regulation losses. The fewest losses in a single season at Oakland as an ACHA DI team (regulation and postseason) is 11 (2009-2010) season. Meaning, this season will have the fewest losses in regulation and post-season in program history at the ACHA DI level.
This team set a program record for fewest goals allowed in a season (88) as an ACHA DI team. The previous record for goals allowed in a single season as 104 in the 2009-10 season. Oakland scored 129 goals in the regular season, the highest total since the 2014-15 season.
This is a quick and impressive turn around for head coach Nick Field and his assistants Aaron Hundt and Jacob DeSano, who inherited a team that just finished its worse stretch in program history.
Field, finishes the regular season with a 65% winning percentage which is tied for the best in a single season since Oakland joined ACHA DI. He also has the fourth best wining percentage in program history in a single season since 2005-06, when then head coach Sean Hogan won 73% of his games.
Even more impressive, is that three of the teams top scorers this season were freshman. The trio of freshman forwards included Cam Schwartz, who finished the season with 22 goals and 40 points. Forward Brendan Smith has 14 goals and 38 points, while Jeremy Schwartz scored 14 goals and 33 points.
The Golden Grizzlies also received another great season from forward Chase Sereno. He finished second in goals with 18, the most he has scored in a single season. Sereno was also second in points with 38. He now has 120 career points at Oakland, which is the 10th most points in program history. Sereno’s 1.3 points per game is tied for the third best in program history. The top two points per game players at Oakland are both in the ACHA Hall-of-Fame (Will McMahon and Brent Cooper)
Another forward who put up career best this season was Chris Hubbard. He scored 13 goals and added 15 assists. The 28 points a career high in a single season for Hubbard. Forward Luke Mackin also posted career best in goals (11), assists (10), and points (21). He finished the regular season sixth best in points for Oakland.
More career milestones include forward Nic Fernandez, who had a career best in points with 18. Senior captain Greg Meuser notched a career best in goals with 11. On defense, Tyler Simon also posted a career high in points with 19.
Goalie Josh Pack and his 15 wins this season was the fourth most wins in a single season for an Oakland goalie. He allowed the fewest goals (68) in a single season from an Oakland starting goalie since the team moved up to ACHA DI and also played over 1,400 minutes between the pipes. His backup Tommy Grassano has a 2.57 goals against average and a 2-0 record.
Oakland also received key contributions from other players, including defenseman Cory Schwartz, who finished second in points for the blueline with 16. Other freshman that contributed to the teams success this season included forward Ryan Saad and his 15 points and 13 points from defenseman Matthew Moretuzzo.
Scoring this season as distributed throughout the lineup including Jacob Deratany, Bruce McLean, Kyle Nikles, Tyler Martin, Nate Richards and Daniel Scorzo combined for 36 points.
With the success of this season comes increased expectations for the 2020-21 season. While there are still areas to improve upon and goals to still reach for the Oakland Hockey program, it appears the best is yet to come.