The Georgetown University ice hockey team has a long and storied history.
Formed in 1938 as the Georgetown University Hockey Club, the team played its first game on February 4, 1939. According to the Washington Post, the game was billed as "the first indoor ice hockey game in Washington" and was a resounding success: "Nearly 1500 spectators jammed the Chevy Chase Ice Palace for the Hoyas match with an All-Star aggregation from Baltimore, and almost 700 more were turned away for lack of room."
Georgetown's first intercollegiate hockey game was played on February 14, 1939 against Loyola University of Baltimore. The "Georgetown Icemen" were coached by John Boyle, a former Hoya football player. The team consisted of 12 players, four of whom played high school hockey at Brooklyn Prep and two of whom where on the Georgetown baseball team. The game ended in a 2-2 tie. According to the Washington Post, which regularly covered the team in its early years, Loyola tied the game due to a "freak hockey shot" that was "slammed from behind the Georgetown goal, struck the back of the Goalkeeper's stick and went into the net."
In its formative year, the Georgetown hockey team had difficulty scheduling games with college rivals and struggled to obtain official recognition from the University. In its inaugural 1939 season, the Hoyas won one game, tied two, and lost two. The following year, they won two and lost one. The 1941 season, however, was heralded as one in which Georgetown University would "blossom forth into big-time intercollegiate competition in ice hockey" as it secured a seven-game schedule that included Temple, Lehigh, Penn State, Franklin and Marshall, and the University of Pennsylvania.
For both hockey fans and players, the hockey experience in 1941 was quite different from what it is today. Neither the skaters nor the goaltenders wore helmets or hockey masks. On March 8, 1941, the Hoyas skated to a 4-4 tie against a Penn State team that was billed as "one of the best in the East." In describing the game, the Washington Post stated, "The Nittany Lions were handicapped in the initial period when they lost their regular goalie, Larry Lightbody, who stopped the puck with his right cheek, necessitating several stitches and a substitute goal tender." Georgetown's March 22, 1941 game against the University of Pennsylvania Quakers was advertised by noting that "the game itself will be followed by two hours of public skating, both of which will be offered for an admission price of 54 cents."
Through most of the 1990's under the coaching of Brad Kent and
Rich Calnan, Georgetown emerged as a collegiate hockey power within the newly formed Mason Dixon Collegiate Hockey Association (MDCHA). In 1996-97 Georgetown went undefeated (15-0-1) to mark the first of 3 MDCHA championships in a 5 year span. Soon thereafter, in the 2001-02 season, Georgetown qualified for and competed in their first ACHA National Championship tournament at Georgia Tech.
Today, Georgetown is a member of the ACCHL—the Atlantic Coast Collegiate Hockey League. The ACCHL, established in 1995, is part of Division II of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA)
The ACCHL currently consists of four divisions and 19 universities. The Capitol Division consists of Georgetown, George Washington University, James Madison University, Princeton University, and Saint Joseph’s University. The Carolina Division consists of Wake Forest, Elon, East Carolina, Duke, and UNC-Charlotte. The Premier Division consists of NC State, UNC- Chapel Hill, Penn State, Rowan, UNC- Wilmington, and Virginia Tech. Lastly, the Virginia Division consists of Denison, Richmond, West Virginia, and the University of Virginia.
The Georgetown Hoyas have been members of the ACCHL since the 2003-2004 season. The Hoyas have enjoyed great success since entering the ACC, winning six league championships-- in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
The current Georgetown Hockey team is coached by head coach Anthony Persico along with assistants Richie McGinniss, Zach Shpilner, and Danny Griffin.