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ECAC Hockey
NCAA Division I Conference
Founded: 1961
Number of teams: Men: 12
Women: 12
Commissioner: Steve Hagwell
Defending champions (men): Princeton Tigers
Defending champions (women): Harvard Crimson

ECAC Hockey, formerly the ECAC Hockey League and commonly referred to as the ECAC, ECACH, or ECACHL, is one of the Big Four conferences in NCAA Men's Division I, and is one of four conferences in Women's Division I.

Its current member teams are:

With the addition of the Rensselaer women's team in 2006, all twelve schools now have both a men's and a women's team in the conference.



The Eastern College Athletic Conference's hockey conference was formed in 1961 in response to demand for an all-eastern tournament to be held in order to send an official champion on to the NCAA tournament. The original lineup contained 28 teams. By 1964, the Division I lineup had been whittled down to the so-called "stronger" 15 teams: Army, Boston College, Boston University, Brown, Clarkson, Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Northeastern, Princeton, Providence, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, and Yale.

In the following 15 years, more teams joined the ECAC, including New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. Pennsylvania joined as well but dropped their hockey program 11 years after joining. Army left the ECAC in 1973 for Division II.

The ECAC split into three divisions in 1979. The Ivy division contained Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. The West division contained Clarkson, Colgate, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, and Vermont. The East division contained Boston College, Boston University, Maine, New Hampshire, Northeastern, and Providence. In 1983, in response to a rumored Ivy split from the ECAC, the East division instead broke away to form their own conference, Hockey East.

Following the break with Hockey East, Army rejoined the ECAC, although it later departed again in 1991. Union replaced Army in the ECAC, leading to the current twelve-team conference lineup.

In 2004, the hockey administration broke away from the main ECAC offices, creating the ECAC Hockey League. The name of the league changed again in 2007 to just ECAC Hockey.

2005 marks the first season that Quinnipiac will be a league member, and that Vermont will not, as the Catamounts joined Hockey East.

League Structure

Prior to 1982, scheduling of league games happened mostly at each school's own whim, leading to a significantly unbalanced conference schedule. Additionally, while the ECAC had a tridivisional structure, teams in different divisions were forced to play an unbalanced number of conference games due to the West division containing one less team than the other two divisions. The ECAC would not gain a balanced schedule until 1986, after the East division departed and Army began playing a full schedule. The conference now utilizes a travel partner system, where on most weekends, a pair of travel partner teams will play a single game against each team of another travel partner pair at their respective home rinks. In the end, each team should play a total of 22 regular season conference games (two against each of the other 11 teams, one home and one away). Even through Army and Vermont's departures and Union and Quinnipiac's additions to the conference, the ECAC has managed to maintain a completely balanced schedule for nearly two decades. The only exception to this thus far has been during the 1999-2000 season, when Vermont was forced to cancel more than half of its season following a hazing scandal.

Currently, the travel partner pairings are:

  • Brown - Yale
  • Clarkson - St. Lawrence (sometimes known collectively as the North Country teams)
  • Colgate - Cornell (sometimes known collectively as the Central New York teams)
  • Dartmouth - Harvard
  • Princeton - Quinnipiac
  • Rensselaer - Union (sometimes known collectively as the Capital District teams)

ECAC Resources

External Links

League website

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