After months of speculation from fans, the University of Oklahoma Ice Hockey Club has announced their new head coach for the 2022-23 season and has released a statement regarding the club’s circumstances moving forward.
After departing the club in 2018, Peter Arvanitis will return to OU Hockey as head coach.
The following release comes from OU Hockey:
Following an off-season of change, OU Hockey is returning to the rink this fall with a new look off the ice but a similar look on the ice. As it opens its 20th season of excitement on the ice, the Sooners will be under the direction of a new Head Coach/ Director of Hockey Operations and will be playing their home games in a new rink.
Taking the reins back for Sooner Hockey is Coach Peter Arvanitis, a former Canadian and CHL player and coach of OU Hockey from 2011-2018.
Arvanitis, a former Center, played in multiple leagues across Canada, then in 1996 moved to the United States, finishing his playing career with the Nashville Nighthawks and eventually the Oklahoma City Blazers of the CHL. Following his playing career, Arvanitis joined the coaching ranks initially as an assistant with OU Hockey and the OKC Blazers and moved into the Head Coaching slot at the start of the 2011 season.
As OU Hockey’s winningest head coach, Arvanitis amassed a record of 159 wins, 76 losses, and 27 shootout losses with a winning percentage of .658, guiding the Sooners to the ACHA National Tournament 6 of his 7 years at the helm. During the 2013-14 season, the Sooners entered the National Tournament ranked #2, finishing in the final four after a heartbreaking overtime loss. Under Arvanitis’ leadership, the Sooners were ranked in the top 10 ACHA Division 1 teams 6 of his 7 years. Arvanitis also coached Paolo DeSousa who still plays professional hockey in Europe.
Led by Senior Captain, Cameron Bickford, the Sooners will return a strong slate of players from the 2021-22 season and should be strong contenders to qualify for the 2022-23 ACHA Division 1 National Tournament next spring in Boston.
As Sooner Hockey prepares for the upcoming season, they will also be preparing to move to their new home game rink, Arctic Edge Ice Center in Edmond. Over the summer, a new NAHL juniors team moved to Oklahoma City and will occupy the Sooners’ former space at Blazers Ice Centre resulting in the Sooners moving their games to Arctic Edge. The Sooners will continue to practice at Blazers.
“While splitting time between the two rinks is not ideal, it is the situation we have to adjust to and we are planning lots of exciting events at our games this season,” commented new General Manager, Brad Bassett. “The staff at both Arctic Edge and Blazers have been very supportive of OU Hockey during this transition, and we are looking forward to working with both rinks this coming season,” Bassett added.
The Sooners will hold their annual Training Camp at Blazers the week of August 22-26 followed by their Annual Red/White Scrimmage slated for 4 pm on Saturday, August 27. OU’s schedule includes their traditional WCHL rivalries between Colorado, Colorado State, Missouri State, Arizona State, and Central Oklahoma as well as a Bedlam series against OSU.
For more information regarding the Sooner’s schedule, ticket information, and much more, fans should follow the OU Hockey website at ouhockey.net as well as the team’s Facebook and Instagram social media posts.
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