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Hockey East: Misc


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Hockey East
NCAA Division I Conference
Founded: 1983
Number of teams: Men: 10
Women: 8
Commissioner: Joe Bertagna
Defending champions (men): Boston College Eagles
Defending champions (women): New Hampshire Wildcats

The Hockey East Association, more often referred to simply as Hockey East, is one of the Big Four conferences in NCAA Men's Division I, and one of four conferences in Women's Division I.

Its men's member teams include:

Its women's member teams include:


Men's History

Hockey East was formed in the early 1980's in response to discontent over the academic direction of the ECAC. There was speculation at the time that the Ivies might break away and form their own conference. Providence, BC, BU, New Hampshire, and Northeastern led the exodus of several schools that preferred not to limit their hockey programs due to academic concerns, and they were joined by Maine. Also, the University of Lowell (now UMass-Lowell) upgraded their program from Division II to Division I in time to begin play in the conference.

The conference was chartered in 1983, with play beginning a year later in the 1984-85 season. In the early years of the conference, an interlocking schedule was played with the WCHA, where games against the western schools also counted in the Hockey East standings.

Merrimack was added to the conference in 1989. The flagship Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts revived their dormant hockey program and joined the conference in 1993, beginning conference play two years later. The University of Vermont has arranged to leave the ECAC and join Hockey East, with the Catamounts beginning conference play in the 2005-06 season.

Each Hockey East team currently plays a 27-game conference schedule, with three games each against the other members of the conference. In the majority of cases, two of the three games are played in a single weekend series; except for series involving the University of Maine and the University of Vermont, they are played home-and-home.

Women's History

The Women's Division of Hockey East began in the 2002-2003 season. It consisted of Providence, New Hampshire, Boston College, and Maine, all of whom were already members of the Men's League. Connecticut was also admitted as the 6th charter member of the Women's League, with a full compliment of scholarships, despite it's men's program not being in Hockey East. All six schools were members of the ECAC Women's League, and split off to be charter members of Women's Hockey East.

The first two years of the league were dominated by Providence and New Hampshire, each of which already had successful programs established. The other four schools were building largely from the club level and struggled over the first two seasons, especially against Providence and New Hampshire.

Providence has won all three conference tournament championships, the first two against New Hampshire. 2005 was the first sign that parity was coming to the league, as Connecticut defeated New Hampshire in the semis to move on to the championship game, falling in the final minutes to Providence, who captured it's third consecutive championship.

2005 also saw the expansion of the NCAA Division I Women's Ice Hockey Championship to an 8-team format, and Hockey East for the first recieved an automatic bid, to be awarded to it's tournament champion.

2005-2006 will see the addition of two teams. Boston University is moving it's team to Division I from the club level. Vermont is moving both it's men's and women's Division I programs from the ECACHL to Hockey East.

Hockey East Resources

External Links

  • Official website

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