Illinois Fighting Illini men's ice hockey

Illinois Fighting Illini men's ice hockey
University University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Conference CSCHL
Head coach Nick Fabbrini[1]
1st year, 26122
Arena University of Illinois Ice Arena
Capacity: 2,000
Location Champaign, Illinois
Colors Orange and Blue[2]
ACHA Tournament Champions
2005, 2008
ACHA Tournament Appearances
1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013
Conference Tournament Champions
1986, 1988, 1992, 2003, 2006, 2008
Conference Regular Season Champions
2003, 2008, 2013

The Illinois Fighting Illini men's ice hockey team is a college ice hockey program that represents the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. The Illini play on campus at historic[3] 2,000-seat University of Illinois Ice Arena.[4] They are a member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) at the ACHA Division I level.[5] team is a member of the Central States Collegiate Hockey League (CSCHL) within the ACHA. The team operates as a Registered Student Organization (RSO) at the University of Illinois. The University does not currently have an NCAA varsity team and thus the club team is the highest level of hockey offered by the University.[6]


Organized ice hockey came to Illinois in the 1930s and played its first official season in 1937 as an independent NCAA team.[7] The first head coach was Ray Eliot, who coached the Fightin' Illini from 1937-1939.[7] The team went winless in the 1937-38 season, going 0-4 before winning their first game in the following season.[7] Vic Heyliger, a former All-American at Michigan and professional player with the Chicago Blackhawks, took over as head coach for the 1939-40 season.[8] In this second year as Illini head coach he led the team to a 17-win season, the most successful season of the Illini NCAA ice hockey team. The team recorded a 10-win season in 1941-42 and a 9-win season in 1942-43 that included only a single loss.[7] The program was ended after the 1942-43 season during World War II; that same year in 1943 Heyliger came out of retirement for 1943-44 season to fill in the team's depleted war time roster.[8]

The current Fighting Illini men's ice hockey team formed in the Post-war era during the mid-1950s.[9] The team joined the CSCHL in 1975, only 5 years after the league formed, making the Illini the longest on-going CSCHL members.[10]


Notable events


Notable alumni


  1. "Coaches". Illini Hockey. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
  2. "Illinois Athletics Unveils Updated Brand Identity". 2014-04-16. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  3. Leetaru, Kalev. "Buildings - Ice Skating Rink/Ice Arena". UIHistories Project: A History of the University of Illinois. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  4. Zeck, Gregory (August 30, 2010). "Hockey hecklers make noise at Ice Arena". Daily Illini. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  5. Pauly, Tom (September 15, 2010). Daily Illini Retrieved September 29, 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. Augustoviz, Roman (September 20, 2010). "Illinois downplays likelihood it will add hockey". Star Tribune. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  7. 1 2 3 4 "Team History". College Hockey News. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  8. 1 2 "Vic Heyliger". Legends of Hockey. Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  9. "Alumni". Illini Ice Hockey. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  10. "CSCHL History". CSCHL. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  11. 1 2 "2007-2008 Men's Division 1 Coach-of-the-Year". CSCHL. March 31, 2008. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  12. NASA (2007). "NASA Assigns Crew for Final Solar Array Delivery to Station". NASA. Retrieved October 19, 2007.
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