UK Hockey Club headed to ACHA Nationals next weekend

The team met their fundraising goal on Wednesday night to help fund the trip's expenses

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) —  The University of Kentucky Hockey team received an invitation to the American Collegiate Hockey Association 2023 National Championships. However, because they’re not an NCAA team, they’re not funded by the school.

But the team was not discouraged, even if it meant having to raise their own money just to be able to go, with a goal of $80,000.

The team is part of the ACHA — but it means they have to raise their own money to even go to the national championships. And they’re still in need of thousands of dollars.

This is the Cats’ first trip since 2007-08.

The championships are being held in Boston, Massachusetts next weekend.

But as of Wednesday night, their dreams would become a reality.

“But for this year to go to the regional tournament win it and get that bid to nationals it’s definitely an accomplishment for everybody on the team,” says Brett Quinn, a center for UK Hockey.

“When I got the text message, I was just blown away. I couldn’t believe it. I had to read it a couple times just to like, let it sink in that that was really there. Like we actually have met our goal. So yeah, it’s, it’s pretty phenomenal,” added Ryan Van Daniker, GM of UK Hockey.

Daniker adding that, “we’ve definitely come a long way. You know, this is this was not a overnight sensation by any stretch. I mean, this has been a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication that me and the coaching staff have put in over the last couple of years.”

Shop Local Kentucky also helping by selling a special Kentucky hockey T-shirt and donating 100% of the proceeds from the sales to the team.

You can purchase one online at

“Shop Local Kentucky put out a t-shirt yesterday, and the word from them is they sold enough of them that they their contribution will put us over the top,” also says Daniker.

Van Daniker adding that he was blown away by how the community responded to help make their trip possible.

“Thanking Big Blue Nation for stepping up and supporting us, definitely felt the love over the last 10 days or so since we started this. And it’s, it’s, it’s really overwhelming to know how much support for this horse out there in the community.”

All day Wednesday, Moe’s Southwest Grill in Lexington on Harrodsburg Road also donating proceeds from those who dined in or ordered online and mention Kentucky Hockey at checkout.

Van Daniker adds that what’s to come will be an unforgettable experience.

“Our first game will be on the 17th on St. Patty’s Day at 11 o’clock, and we’ll be, we’ll be ready to go. I know, the boys are excited, and we’re looking forward to it. I mean, this really is a once in a lifetime kind of opportunity.”

The team’s GoFundMe can be found by clicking here.

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