Ad blocker interference detected!
Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers
Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.
| Atlantic Hockey Association|
NCAA Division I Conference
|Number of teams:||12|
|Commissioner:||Robert M. DeGregorio, Jr.|
|Defending champions (men):||Air Force Falcons|
Its member teams are:
- Air Force Falcons (no women's team)
- American International Yellow Jackets (no women's team)
- Army Black Knights (no women's team)
- Bentley Falcons (no women's team)
- Canisius Golden Griffins (no women's team)
- Holy Cross Crusaders (women play in D-III ECAC East)
- Mercyhurst Lakers (women play in CHA)
- Niagara Purple Eagles (women play in CHA)
- RIT Tigers (women play in D-III ECAC West)
- Robert Morris Colonials (women play in CHA)
- Sacred Heart Pioneers (women play as D-I Independents)
|Air Force||Cadet Ice Arena||Colorado Springs, CO||2,502|
|American International||MassMutual Center||Springfield, MA||6,679|
|Army||Tate Rink||West Point, NY||2,648|
|Bentley||John A. Ryan Arena||Watertown, MA||1,200|
|Holy Cross||Hart Center||Worcester, MA||1,600|
|Mercyhurst||Mercyhurst Ice Center||Erie, PA||1,500|
|Mercyhurst (alternate)||Erie Insurance Arena||Erie, PA||6,833|
|Niagara||Dwyer Arena||Lewiston, NY||1,400|
|Robert Morris||84 Lumber Arena||Neville Island, PA||1,200|
|Robert Morris (alternate)||Consol Energy Center||Pittsburgh||18,387|
|RIT||Gene Polisseni Center||Henrietta, NY||4,300|
|RIT (alternate)||Blue Cross Arena||Rochester, NY||10,556|
|Sacred Heart||Milford Ice Pavilion||Milford, CT||1,000|
|Sacred Heart (alternate)||Webster Bank Arena||Bridgeport, CT||8,412|
|Tournament||Blue Cross Arena||Rochester, NY||10,556|
Despite its short tenure, Atlantic Hockey has had a tumultuous, yet relatively stable history.
In 1995, the NCAA passed a regulation requiring all schools classified at the Division I level to play all their sports at that level, if an NCAA tournament existed at that level. While mostly affecting football programs opting to play at Division III, it also affected eight Division I schools playing at the Division II/III level in hockey: Connecticut, Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart, Iona, Fairfield, Canisius, Holy Cross and Villanova. Those schools were required to bring their programs up within four years, which would be the 1998-99 hockey season. Villanova would drop their program before that year, but the discontinuing of the Division II ice hockey tournament would see American International seeking to join the Division I ranks. The eight programs would talk to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (the all-sports home of Canisius, Iona and Fairfield, as well as CHA member Niagara), and the league agreed to form a cost-containment hockey league for the eight teams (the league still has a scholarship limit of 11) to ease the transition from Division III to Division I play. The league's first season, 1998-1999, was won by Quinnipiac, and the first tournament would be won by host Holy Cross.
The second season, 1999-2000, would see league membership increase to 10, as Bentley and Mercyhurst would join the league from Division II. The latter would quickly cement themselves as one of the league's top teams, while the former has struggled. It would also be a season of controversy for the fledgling league. For one, a league by-law proscribing all members, full and associate, from playing provisional NCAA programs, forced the cancellation of several games against the University of Findlay, who had not yet finished their provisional term. The black eye for the league carried over into discussions surrounding the other controversial happening to the league: the application for an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Having completed all requirements for an automatic bid, the MAAC made the official application for the next season's tournament (the 1999-2000 winner, Connecticut, would be the last team to win the tournament without getting an NCAA bid); they faced a backlash from the tradition-rich hockey community (exacerbated by the Findlay controversy) about the league's unworthiness to compete at the same level as the Big Four and being "undeserving" of an automatic bid. The application, however, was approved, and the old tournament rules changed to accommodate them.
Growth, Contraction, and ChangeEdit
2000-2001 would be another year of growth for the league, as Army would defect from the CHA to the MAAC, bringing the league to 11 teams. It would also see two of the league's biggest games: the first win against a Big Four team, when Sacred Heart defeated the ECACHL's Cornell, and the MAAC's first ever NCAA tournament game, where league tournament champion Mercyhurst nearly upset Michigan. The league would stay at eleven members until the 2002-2003 season, when Fairfield and Iona both announced, within weeks of one another, that they would be dropping hockey. As this left only one all-sports MAAC member, Canisius, in the league, the remaining nine teams first applied for full voting rights in the league's administration; when that request was turned down, the teams then decided to form an independent hockey league, known as Atlantic Hockey. The new league would name as its commissioner the former Merrimack athletic director, Bob DeGregorio.
The 2004-05 season saw another shake-up in the league's membership, as Quinnipiac was accepted into the ECACHL to replace Vermont, which was shifting over to Hockey East. The league had eight teams for the 2005-06 season, and the addition of new Division I team, the RIT and the transfer of Air Force from the CHA brought the number of teams up to the current roster of 10 in 2006-07. Both of these new teams would be very successful in their first year in the league, as RIT won the regular season title, and Air Force defeated Army to win the 2007 AHA Tournament.
As a result of the NCAA Division I men's hockey realignment of the 2010's, Hockey East offered membership to the University of Connecticut, which was accepted. The school's women's program was already a member of Hockey East. They will join Hockey East for the 2014-15 season.
Timeline of teams Edit
- American International (1998-Present)
- Canisius (1998-Present)
- Connecticut (1998-2014) join Hockey East
- Fairfield (1998-2003) dropped hockey proram
- Iona (1998-2003) dropped hockey program
- Holy Cross (1998-Present)
- Quinnipiac (1998-2005) joined ECAC Hockey, which had lost Vermont to Hockey East
- Sacred Heart (1998-Present)
- Bentley (1999-present) program elevated to Division I, from Division II (ECAC Central)
- Mercyhurst (1999-present) program elevated to Division I
- Army (2000-present) joined from College Hockey America
- Air Force (2006-Present) joined from College Hockey America
- Rochester Institute of Technology (2006-Present) program elevated to Division I
- Niagara (2010-Present) joined from College Hockey America when that league disbanded
- Robert Morris (2010-Present) joined from College Hockey America when that league disbanded
List of Atlantic Hockey Champions Edit
From 1999 to 2003, the team listed was the MAAC champion.
|Year||Regular Season Champion||Tournament Champion||Tournament Runner-up|
|2004||Holy Cross||Holy Cross||Sacred Heart|
|2006||Holy Cross||Holy Cross||Bentley|
|2009||Air Force & RIT (tie)||Air Force||Mercyhurst|
|2012||Air Force||Air Force||RIT|
* Ineligible for postseason play
Season awards Edit
External Links Edit
|NCAA Division I hockey-only conferences|
|Central Collegiate Hockey Association • College Hockey America • ECAC Hockey • Hockey East • Western Collegiate Hockey Association|
|NCAA • Championships: Men / Women|