The Lindenwood men’s ice hockey program is making history by bringing NCAA Division I hockey to St. Charles heading into the 2022-23 season.
“Lindenwood's branding of Real Experience, Real Success is a driving force of why our university is making the move the NCAA DI,” said Head Coach Rick Zombo. “As far as our hockey program goes, we want to play the best teams in the country to showcase our university. We want to bring in purposeful student-athletes that are committed to getting it done in the classroom, on the ice and in the community."
Pre-NCAA, the Lions competed in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), where they made numerous trips to the ACHA Division I Championships under Zombo, and in 2016 and 2021, won the national title. Along with their successes on the ice, the men posted a 3.69 team GPA last spring, proving to also be leaders in the classroom.
Zombo, a former NHL player, has been the head coach of the men's ice hockey program since 2010. Before Lindenwood, Zombo spent a season as the head coach and general manager of the UHSL Heartland Eagles and three seasons with the St. Louis Sting in the NAHL. He also coached Marquette High School in St. Louis for three seasons.
Before coaching, Zombo spent 12 seasons in the NHL, including four years with the St. Louis Blues. He played for the Red Wings for eight seasons before being traded to the Blues early in 1991-92. His final year in the NHL was during the 1995-96 campaign with the Boston Bruins. Zombo finished his NHL career with 652 regular season games played, 24 career goals and 130 career assists.
Lindenwood will open their historical season on Saturday, October 1, which begins a two-game series against the University of Minnesota. The Gophers finished last season with a 26-13-0 record and made a Frozen Four appearance.
The Lions will head to Denver, Colorado to take on the defending national champion in the University of Denver on December 16-17. A few other road series on the schedule include AIC, Arizona State, Wisconsin, and North Dakota.
Air Force comes to Centene Community Ice Center on October 14-15, which will be Lindenwood's home-opening series. The second and final home series for Lindenwood will be on February 10-11 against Stonehill.
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