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June 22, 2018

Top 5 D1 Men’s Ice Hockey Swag

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In D1 men’s college ice hockey, there is a lot of hip/swaggy uniforms. These rankings highlight the top five uniforms according to my liking of color scheme, logo, and other small details. Let’s start the countdown with number five.

  1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

For Notre Dame, the uniform is all about the gold. The helmet makes the whole uniform pop. The combination of the navy blue jerseys with a gold helmet is stunning. You also can’t go wrong with their alternate green and gold uniform reminiscent of a leprechaun and his pot of gold. The Fighting Irish don’t have the most flashy uniforms, but they keep it simple and classic which makes for a swaggy uniform.

Located in South Bend, Indiana, the men’s hockey team is led by Head Coach Jeff Jackson. He won the Penrose Award for national coach of the year, his second time receiving the honor in 13 seasons. Jackson has taken his team to 9 NCAA tournaments in his 13 seasons, also winning the conference championship seven times. This year, the Fighting Irish went 28-10-2 overall, making it to the national title game only to fall short by one goal against Minnesota Duluth. Their goalie, Cale Morris, was awarded the Mike Richter Award for the most outstanding goalie.

4. Arizona State Sun Devils

Coming in at number 4 are the Arizona State Sun Devils. Their color scheme of sun yellow with black and maroon is fresh. Similar to Notre Dame, there isn’t anything in itself that stands out, but they do a lot of things right. From the striped pattern on the socks and lower shirt to the ASU on the shoulders and the captain stitching on the chest, the uniforms have a solid pattern. The best part about the uniform, however, is the pitchfork logo in the center. It catches the attention of the audience, and the little swooshes coming out of the bottom make it look like the pitchfork is being wielded. You can’t go wrong with these tight uniforms.

Arizona State University is located in Tempe, Arizona. The men’s ice hockey team struggled this year, going 8-21-5 overall. Their coach, Greg Powers, has been on the coaching staff for nine years. During the 2013-2014 season, coach Powers led the Sun Devils to their first-ever ACHA Division 1 National Championship. Maybe even more impressive is that in 2015, the Sun Devils became an NCAA Division 1 team under coach Powers. Hopefully, in a few years, the Sun Devils will be as good at hockey as their uniforms are fresh.

3. Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs

Third, on the list is the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. The yellow and maroon coloring, the striped pattern on the bottom of the jersey and socks, and the shoulder stitching give the same effect as the Arizona State Sun Devils. Accordingly, there are two reasons I have the Bulldogs ahead of the Sun Devils. One, while the Sun Devils have a very modern look, the Bulldogs have a bit more variability in their uniforms. The home and away jerseys with the Bulldog face logo are modern, but their alternate white and maroon jersey with Bulldogs written across the center allows for a more retro/throwback look that is cool. Two, the coolest part of the jersey is the big Bulldog face logo on the home and away jerseys. It makes the uniform stand out and brings a menacing look to them.

The Bulldogs are the reigning National Champions, beating Notre Dame 2-1 in the final game of the Frozen Four. They made it that far by going 25-16-3 overall. Their coach, Scott Sandelin, has won one coach of the year award in 2003 and has been a finalist two other times. This was the second Nation Championship for the Bulldogs, who won their first one in 2011. Their uniforms aren’t the only reason the fans in Duluth should be proud of their teams.

2. Lake Superior State Lakers

What I find so interesting about their uniforms is the fact that they look like they could have come out of the 1980s which brings such an old-school, classic look to the rink. There is zero flash, but there is just something about the uniform that makes it look very classy. I also enjoy the yellow anchor on the forefront as blue and yellow work well together.

Lake Superior State University is located in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Their hockey team is lead by Head Coach Damon Whitten. He has been their coach for four years after serving as an assistant coach at Michigan Tech. The Lakers had a tough year in 2017-2018 as they went 10-22-4 overall, which put them in second to last place in their conference. The Lakers hope to get back to the NCAA tournament soon, which has been a familiar place to them in their history.

1. University of Maine Black Bears

And the top spot goes to the Maine Black Bears. You can never go wrong with the navy blue and royal blue mesh. That might be my favorite combination in all sports. The two blues seem to bring out each other. Maine is such a historic hockey team that has had these uniforms for a while, that it would be a shame to change them. The best part of the uniform is Maine written across the center in its retro script. It is hard to say something specific that is great about these uniforms, but I believe they have something that makes the uniform great.

The University of Maine in Orono, Maine has one of the most prolific hockey programs in Division 1. Red Gendron coaches the Black Bears. He has been their coach for five years and although he hasn’t had the type of success at Maine that he would like, his resume speaks for itself. He is a two time NCAA Hockey National Champion. He was also an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils in 2005 when they won the Stanley Cup. This season, the Black Bears compiled an 18-16-4 record, losing in the quarterfinals of their conference tournament to Providence.