College Hockey America
NCAA Division I Conference
College Hockey America
Founded: 1999
Number of teams: 4
Commissioner: Robert M. DeGregorio, Jr.
Defending champions (men): Alabama-Huntsville Chargers (2010)
Defending champions (women): Mercyhurst Lakers
College Hockey America (CHA) is a college ice hockey conference in the United States. It participates in the NCAA's Division I as a hockey-only conference. The conference is currently made up of five women's teams in Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania. The women's league began play in the 2002–03 season with four teams.[1]

The CHA was founded as a men's-only league in 1999. The conference was formed from teams moving up from Division II, after the NCAA stopped sanctioning Division II hockey in 1998, and existing Division I independent teams.[2] The league began with seven members, but by the 2008–09 season, only four remained. The men's division folded after the 2009–2010 season.[3][4]


Institution Location Nickname Founded Affiliation Enrollment Joined Women's championships Men's conference Primary Conference
Mercyhurst College Erie, Pennsylvania Lakers 1926 Private/Catholic 4,106 2002 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Atlantic Hockey PSAC (D-II)
Niagara University Lewiston, New York Purple Eagles 1856 Private/Catholic 3,746 2002A Atlantic Hockey MAAC
Robert Morris University Moon Township, Pennsylvania Colonials 1921 Private/Non-sectarian 5,000 2005B Atlantic Hockey NEC
Syracuse University Syracuse, New York Orange 1870 Private/Non-sectarian 19,082 2008 Big East
^A  Men's team joined in 1999
^B  Men's team joined in 2004

Former membersEdit

Conference arenasEdit

School Arena Capacity
Mercyhurst Mercyhurst Ice Center 1,500
Niagara Dwyer Arena 2,000
Robert Morris Island Sports Center 1,100
Syracuse Tennity Ice Skating Pavilion
War Memorial at Oncenter
renovations pending

Women's tournament finalsEdit

For the first time in conference history, the 2006 men's and women's tournaments were held at the same site: The Michigan State Fairgrounds Coliseum in Detroit, Michigan. The 2008 tournaments were also held jointly, at Dwyer Arena in Lewiston, New York.

Year Champion Score Runner-up City
2003 Mercyhurst 1–0 Findlay Detroit, Michigan
2004 Mercyhurst 3–1 Niagara Lewiston, New York
2005 Mercyhurst 4–1 Niagara Erie, Pennsylvania
2006 Mercyhurst 6–2 Niagara Detroit, Michigan
2007 Mercyhurst 4–1 Wayne State Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2008 Mercyhurst 2–1 (ot) Wayne State Lewiston, New York
2009 Mercyhurst 6–1 Wayne State Erie, Pennsylvania
2010 Mercyhurst 3–1 Syracuse Detroit, Michigan

Postseason women's hockey historyEdit

The women's CHA does not have an automatic bid; all of these participants reached the tournament via at-large bids.

NCAA Tournament
Year CHA Rep. Opponent Result
2005 Mercyhurst Harvard L 5–4 (3ot)
2006 Mercyhurst Wisconsin L 2–1 (2ot)
2007 Mercyhurst Minnesota–Duluth L 3–2 (ot)
2008 Mercyhurst Minnesota–Duluth L 5–4
2009 Mercyhurst St. Lawrence W 3–1
Minnesota W 5–4 (frozen four)
Wisconsin L 5–0 (national final)
2010 Mercyhurst Boston University W 4–1
Cornell L 3–2 (frozen four)

Men's divisionEdit

The CHA was originally founded in 1999 with only a men's division. Three of the seven charter members, Alabama–Huntsville, Bemidji State,and Findlay, had recently moved up from Division II, while Air Force, Army, and Niagara were formerly independent. Wayne State were a charter member, and began sponsoring varsity hockey in 2000.

Niagara went undefeated in conference play in 1999–2000, winning the conference tournament and gaining an at-large invitation to the NCAA Tournament. (The conference did not gain an automatic bid until the 2003 tournament.) Army spent only one season in the league before leaving for the MAAC. Findlay dropped their hockey programs following the 2003–2004 season, to be replaced by Robert Morris, who began play in 2004–2005. After Air Force left for Atlantic Hockey in 2006 and Wayne State dropped their program in 2008, the conference was left with only four teams. The CHA sought to add new programs to its men's league, hoping to draw interest from some of the top club teams in the country, including Kennesaw State University.[2] However, these efforts came up short, with CHA and school personnel citing Title IX as a major hurdle in the negotiations.[6]

On January 29, 2009, Niagara University announced that it and Robert Morris University were moving to Atlantic Hockey beginning in the 2010-11 season.[7] Bemidji State applied again to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association for inclusion and was accepted, along with the University of Nebraska-Omaha of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. Alabama-Huntsville applied to the CCHA[8] following the announced departure of Nebraska-Omaha and was denied. [9] Alabama-Huntsville will compete as an independent team beginning with the 2010-11 season.

Member schoolsEdit

There were eight member schools in total. The conference began in 2000 with seven teams, and ended in 2010 with four.

Institution Location Nickname Membership Men's championships Fate
University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville, Alabama Chargers 1999–2010 2007, 2010 Independent


Bemidji State University Bemidji, Minnesota Beavers 1999–2010 2005, 2006, 2009 WCHA


University of Findlay Findlay, Ohio Oilers 1999–2004 dropped program[5]
Niagara University Lewiston, New York Purple Eagles 1999–2010 2000, 2004, 2008 Atlantic Hockey


Robert Morris University Moon Township, Pennsylvania Colonials 2004–2010 Atlantic Hockey


United States Air Force Academy Colorado Springs, Colorado Falcons 1999–2006 Atlantic Hockey
United States Military Academy West Point, New York Black Knights 1999–2000 Atlantic Hockey
Wayne State University Detroit, Michigan Warriors 1999–2008 2001, 2002, 2003 dropped men's program

Championship gamesEdit

Tournament champions were awarded the Bob Peters Cup.
Year Champion Score Runner-up City
2000 Niagara 3–2 Alabama–Huntsville Huntsville, Alabama
2001 Wayne State 4–1 Alabama–Huntsville Huntsville, Alabama
2002 Wayne State 5–4 (ot) Alabama–Huntsville Lewiston, New York
2003 Wayne State 3–2 Bemidji State Kearney, Nebraska
2004 Niagara 4–3 (ot) Bemidji State Kearney, Nebraska
2005 Bemidji State 3–0 Alabama–Huntsville Grand Rapids, Minnesota
2006 Bemidji State 4–2 Niagara Detroit, Michigan
2007 Alabama–Huntsville 5–4 (ot) Robert Morris Des Moines, Iowa
2008 Niagara 3–2 Bemidji State Lewiston, New York
2009 Bemidji State 3–2 (ot) Robert Morris Bemidji, Minnesota
2010 Alabama–Huntsville 3–2 (ot) Niagara Lewiston, New York

Postseason Men's Hockey HistoryEdit

NCAA Tournament
Year CHA Rep. Opponent Result
2000 Niagara A New Hampshire W 4–1
North Dakota L 4–1
2003 Wayne State Colorado College L 4–2
2004 Niagara Boston College L 5–2
2005 Bemidji State Denver L 4–3 (ot)
2006 Bemidji State Wisconsin L 4–0
2007 Alabama–Huntsville Notre Dame L 3–2 (2ot)
2008 Niagara Michigan L 5–1
2009 Bemidji State Notre Dame W 5–1
Cornell W 4–1
Miami (OH) L 4–1 (frozen four)
2010 Alabama–Huntsville Miami (OH) L 2-1
Bemidji State A Michigan L 5-1

^A At-large invitee. College Hockey America was not awarded an automatic bid until 2003.

Conference Tie-BreakersEdit

  • 1: Comparison of conference game results between tied teams (head to head)
  • 2. Comparison of Conference Wins
  • 3. Comparison of Results against the top two teams
  • 4. Comparison of Results against the top four teams


  1. Morris, Geof F. (Aug. 1, 2002). College Hockey America Starts Division I Women's League. Retrieved on 15 March 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Brown, Scott (April 23, 2006). A New World Order. Retrieved on 15 March 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 WCHA Brings Aboard Bemidji, Omaha. Retrieved on 15 March 2010.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Lerch, Chris (Jan. 28, 2009). Atlantic Hockey Approves Expansion: Niagara and Robert Morris To Join. Retrieved on 15 March 2010.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Wodon, Adam (Jan. 6, 2004). Findlay To Drop Hockey. Retrieved on 14 March 2010.
  6. Shaver, Wally. News and notes from the 2008 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four. Retrieved on 2010-01-28.
  7. Niagara Men's Hockey To Join Atlantic Hockey
  8. Alabama-Huntsville interested in CCHA, WCHA
  9. CCHA denies hockey program's application for admission - Press Release - Aug. 11, 2009
  10. McLaughlin, Budd. "UAH program standing alone", The Huntsville Times, September 23, 2009. 

External linksEdit

CHA Resources Edit

External Links Edit

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