UCSB Ice Hockey is a co-ed club sport at UC Santa Barbara under the Department of Recreation. The team is a member of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division II, and competes in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA). Ice Hockey at UCSB's home rink is Ice In Paradise, located adjacent to the UC Santa Barbara campus in Goleta, CA.
The team began playing at the Ice In Paradise facility for the 2015-16 season. In their inaugural season at Ice In Paradise, Ice Hockey at UCSB competed in the National Collegiate Hockey Association. The Gauchos finished fourth in the California Collegiate Hockey League and advanced to the playoffs, reaching the California Cup Final.
Ice in Paradise is a 46,500 square-foot facility located in the town of Goleta, CA, a small suburb of the city of Santa Barbara which surrounds the camups of UC Santa Barbara and the township of Isla Vista. The facility opened its doors to the public on October 10th, 2015 after an agonizingly long wait. The Greater Santa Barbara Ice Skating Association recieved a donation of land adjacent to Girsh Park in Goleta in 2010, but it wasn't until 2014 that ground broke on the new facility, after the GSBISA had raised over $8.5 million in funds. The rink continues to operate on a non-profit basis.
Two of the big contributors and benefactors to the completion of the rink project, Minnesota native and USA Hockey board member Jack Norqual, and the late owner and founder of the Philadelphia Flyers, Ed Snider, both have a rink in the facility adorned with their name.
The facility has one full NHL-size sheet of ice and a smaller studio half-rink used for mite hockey, figure skating, broomball, and birthday parties. There is also a restaurant, four locker rooms, elevated balcony bleachers, and a birthday party room. The facility is also one of the only rinks in California equipped with dasherboards that are capable of supporting sled hockey for those with disabilities.
To find out more about Ice in Paradise, visit their website by clicking here.
Ice Hockey at UCSB was originally founded in 2010 by members of the school's roller hockey club. In its previous six seasons, Ice Hockey at UCSB competed at the now-demolished Channel Islands Ice Center. Today, the Gauchos can easily reach the rink by bicycle as it is less than a mile from campus.
About UC Santa Barbara
Located in picturesque Isla Vista, the University of California Santa Barbara is the academic home to over 23,000 students with more than 200 majors, degrees, and credentials offered through its five schools as well as Graduate Division. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and Santa Ynez Mountains, the institution is one of just 62 research institutions elected into the prestigious Association of American Universities.
With a faculty of over 1,000, students participate in a comprehensive liberal arts education experience that encourages discovery through stimulating independent thought, critical reasoning, and creativity. UCSB is home to six Nobel laureates, as well as 34 members of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, 39 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 27 members of the National Academy of Engineering, and three MacArthur Fellows Program members.
The University was ranked no. 8 by US News and World Report's 2016 "Best Colleges" guide, and has been ranked as the no. 1 "green school" by Princeton Review in 2015. 12 prominent national science institutes and centers call UCSB home, while also featuring 24 dedicated research centers and academic initiatives spanning the humanities and fine arts. The institution also boasts 20 NCAA intercollegiate athletics programs, as well as a robust recreation department featuring club and intramural sports teams, adventure programs, and more.
Competition for admission is keen, with the campus enrolling the most competitive and diverse classes in its history over the recent past. It is a learning environment like no other, with the beauty and resources of UC Santa Barbara's location and people serving to inspire while fostering a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration. To be a Gaucho is life changing.
For more information about UC Santa Barbara, visit the school's official website.
About the ACHA
The American Collegiate Hockey Association is a USA Hockey member program in its 26th year, with three tiers of men's and two tiers of women's hockey, including over 430 participating university and college programs. The association provides regulation, structure, and organization while promoting development and growth of college hockey through emphasizing both the academic and on-ice performance of participants.
The Gauchos compete in the Pacific Collegiate Hockey Association, a member league of the ACHA featuring nearly a dozen other programs. They made the transition to the ACHA after the completion of the 2015-16 season.
You can visit the ACHA website here.