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New England Hockey Conference
NCAA Division III Conference
New England Hockey Conference logo
Founded: 1965
Number of teams: Men: 10
Women: 13
Commissioner: Rudy Keeling
Defending champions (men): Mass-Boston Beacons (2016)
Defending champions (women): Mass-Boston Beacons (2016)
Website: mens: http://www.nehockeyconference.com/men/index.php

women's: http://www.nehockeyconference.com/women/index.php

The New England Hockey Conference (known as ECAC East prior to 2015-16 season) is a league in NCAA Men's Division III and Women's Division III.

The women's conference has been unique in that it has been home to schools at the D-I, D-II, and D-III levels.  However, this appears to be changing for the 2017-18 season as the conference appears to be coming an all D-III member conference.  The Holy Cross Crusaders are D-I in all other programs and have announced that they are elevating the program to D-I as what may be part of a move by the school to be joining Hockey East at either the men's level (which would force the school to make the women's program D-I) or the eventual inclusion of both programs in Hockey East.

Castleton State College was renamed Castleton University in July, 2015.

During the fall of 2016 protest have occurred at St. Anselm over the women's program being forced from the conference by the new D-III only policy.  This would likely force the program to move to the Northeast-10 conference which would essentially hurt the program by giving the school only six set opponents for the regular season.  The program at St. Michael's would also likely be forced into the same situation as St. Anselm.

Men's ConferenceEdit

Current MembersEdit

Team Location Arena
Babson Beavers Wellesley, Massachusetts Babson Skating Center
Castleton State Spartans Castleton, Vermont Spartan Arena
Mass-Boston Beacons Boston, Massachusetts Beacons Ice Arena
New England Pilgrims Henniker, New Hampshire Lee Clement Arena
Norwich Cadets Northfield, Vermont Kreitzberg Arena
St. Anselm Hawks Goffstown, New Hampshire Sullivan Arena
St. Michael's Purple Knights Colchester, Vermont C. Douglas Cairns Recreation Arena
Skidmore Thoroughbreds Saratoga Springs, New York Saratoga Springs Ice Rink
Southern Maine Huskies Gorham, Maine USM Ice Arena

Future MembersEdit

Team Location Arena
Hobart Statesmen (2017-18) Geneva, New York Geneva Recreation Complex Skating Rink
Johnson and Wales Wildcats (2018-19) Providence, Rhode Island Dennis M. Lynch Arena
Suffolk Rams (2018-19) Boston, Massachusetts Steriti Memorial Rink, O'Neill Rink

Former MembersEdit

Team Fate
MCLA Trailblazers program dropped by school in 2003
Salem State Vikings join MASCAC in 2009
University of New England Nor'Easters join Commonwealth Coast Conference in 2016

Men's SeasonsEdit

Season Regular Season Champions Conference Tournament Champions NCAA Tournament
1998-99 ECAC East Men's Season Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets (National Champions)
1999-00 ECAC East Men's Season Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets (National Champions)
2000-01 ECAC East Men's Season Norwich Cadets New England College Pilgrims New England College Pilgrims (quarterfinals)
2001-02 ECAC East Men's Season Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets (Runner Up)
2002-03 ECAC East Men's Season Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets (National Champions)
2003-04 ECAC East Men's Season Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets (Semifinals)
2004-05 ECAC East Men's Season Norwich Cadets New England College Pilgrims New England College Pilgrims (Semifinals)
2005-06 ECAC East Men's Season Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets (Quarterfinals)
2006-07 ECAC East Men's Season Norwich Cadets Babson Beavers Babson Beavers (Quarterfinals)
Norwich Cadets (Quarterfinals)
2007-08 ECAC East Men's Season Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets (Semifinals)
2008-09 ECAC East Men's Season Norwich Cadets Babson Beavers Babson Beavers (First Round)
2009-10 ECAC East Men's Season Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets (National Champions)
2010-11 ECAC East Men's Season Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets (Semifinals)
2011-12 ECAC East Men's Season Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets (Semifinals)
2012-13 ECAC East Men's Season Norwich Cadets Babson Beavers Babson Beavers (Quarterfinals)
Norwich Cadets (Semifinals)
2013-14 ECAC East Men's Season Babson Beavers Babson Beavers Babson Beavers (Quarterfinals)
Norwich Cadets (Quarterfinals)
2014-15 ECAC East Men's Season Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets (Quarterfinals)
2015-16 NEHC Men's Season Mass-Boston Beacons Mass-Boston Beacons Mass-Boston Beacons (Semifinals)
2016-17 NEHC Men's Season Norwich Cadets TBD TBD

Women's ConferenceEdit

Current MembersEdit

Team Location Arena
Castleton Spartans Castleton, Vermont Spartan Arena
Franklin Pierce Ravens Rindge, New Hampshire Jason Ritchie Ice Arena
Holy Cross Crusaders Worcester, Massachusetts Hart Center
Manhattanville Valiants Purchase, New York Playland Ice Casino
New England College Pilgrims Henniker, New Hampshire Lee Clement Arena
Nichols Bison Dudley, Massachusetts Levy Rink
Norwich Cadets Northfield, Vermont Kreitzberg Arena
Plymouth State Panthers Plymouth, New Hampshire Hanaway Rink
Saint Anselm Hawks Goffstown, New Hampshire Sullivan Arena
Salve Regina Seahawks Newport, Rhode Island St. George's School Ice Rink
Southern Maine Huskies Gorham, Maine USM Ice Arena
St. Michael's Purple Knights Colchester, Vermont C. Douglas Cairns Recreation Arena
Mass-Boston Beacons Boston, Massachusetts Beacons Ice Arena
University of New England Nor'Easters Biddeford, Maine Harold Alfond Forum

Future MembersEdit

Team Location Arena
Johnson and Wales Wildcats (2018-19) Providence, Rhode Island Dennis M. Lynch Arena
Salem State Vikings (2018-19) Salem, Massachusetts Rockett Arena
Suffolk Rams (2018-19) Boston, Massachusetts Steriti Memorial Rink, O'Neill Rink

Former MembersEdit

Team Fate
Rensselaer Engineers joined D-I ECAC Hockey in 2005
Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers joined ECAC West in 2007
MIT Engineers program dropped by school in 2009

Women's Conference SeasonsEdit

Season Regular Season Champions Conference Tournament Champions ECAC/NEHC Open Tournament Champions AWCHA/NCAA Tournament
1997-98 ECAC Division III Women's Season Wesleyan Cardinals (East)
Middlebury Panthers (West)
No Tournament No Tournament No Tournament
1998-99 ECAC East Women's Season Wesleyan Cardinals(North)
Bowdoin Polar Bears (East)
Middlebury Panthers (South)
RIT Tigers (West)
No Tournament No Tournament No Tournament
1999-00 ECAC East Women's Season Middlebury Panthers Middlebury Panthers No Tournament Middlebury Panthers (National Champs)
2000-01 ECAC East Women's Season Middlebury Panthers Middlebury Panthers No Tournament Middlebury Panthers (National Champs
Williams Ephs (Third place)
2001-02 ECAC East Women's Season Manhattanville Valiants Manhattanville Valiants Sacred Heart Pioneers Manhattanville Valiants (Runner-up)
2002-03 ECAC East Women's Season Manhattanville Valiants Manhattanville Valiants Holy Cross Crusaders Manhattanville Valiants (Runner-up)
2003-04 ECAC East Women's Season Manhattanville Valiants Manhattanville Valiants Event Not Held Manhattanville Valiants (4th Place)
2004-05 ECAC East Women's Season Manhattanville Valiants Manhattanville Valiants St. Anselm Hawks Manhattanville Valiants (Lost in Quarterfinals)
2005-06 ECAC East Women's Season Manhattanville Valiants Manhattanville Valiants Sacred Heart Pioneers Manhattanville Valiants (Lost in Quarterfinals)
2006-07 ECAC East Women's Season St. Anselm Hawks Manhattanville Valiants St. Anselm Hawks Manhattanville Valiants (lost in quarterfinals
RIT Tigers (lost in quarterfinals)
2007-08 ECAC East Women's Season St. Anselm Hawks Manhattanville Valiants St. Anselm Hawks Manhattanville Valiants (Runner-up)
2008-09 ECAC East Women's Season Holy Cross Crusaders Norwich Cadets Holy Cross Crusaders Norwich Cadets (lost in quarterfinals)
2009-10 ECAC East Women's Season Manhattanville Valiants Norwich Cadets Holy Cross Crusaders Norwich Cadets (National Champs)
2010-11 ECAC East Women's Season Norwich Cadets Manhattanville Valiants Holy Cross Crusaders Manhattanville Valiants (lost in quarterfinals)
Norwich Cadets (Nationals Champs)
2011-12 ECAC East Women's Season Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets St. Anselm Hawks Norwich Cadets (Runner-up)
2012-13 ECAC East Women's Season Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets St. Anselm Hawks Norwich Cadets (lost in quarterfinals)
2013-14 ECAC East Women's Season Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets St. Anselm Hawks Norwich Cadets (runner-up)
2014-15 ECAC East Women's Season Norwich Cadets Norwich Cadets Holy Cross Crusaders Norwich Cadets (Fourth Place)
2015-16 NEHC Women's Season Norwich Cadets Mass-Boston Beacons Holy Cross Crusaders Mass-Boston Beacons (Lost in quarterfinals)
2016-17 NEHC Women's Season TBD TBD TBD TBD

Women's Conference TimelineEdit

Single Gender Teams (other gender team's league)Edit

Its men's member teams are:

Its women's member teams are:

Membership ChangesEdit

In 1998, the Skidmore Thoroughbreds join the conference.

In 1999, the men's conference loses the Amherst Lord Jeffs, Bowdoin Polar Bears, Colby Mules, Connecticut College Camels, Hamilton Continentals, Middlebury Panthers, Trinity Bantams, Wesleyan Cardinals, and Williams Ephs when they form the New England Small College Athletic Conference. In 2001, 10 members of the women's conference broke off to form the New England Small College Athletic Conference's women's conference and the Salve Regina Seahawks joined the conference from being a Division III Independent and St. Michael's Purple Knights join the conference as a new program. St. Michael's also joined the men's conference.

In 2002 New England College Pilgrims joined the conference after being a Division III Independent for their first season

In 2005, the Rensselaer Engineers (women) left ECAC East and became a Women's Division I team.

The Plymouth State Panthers women's program began in 2006 and joined the conference in 2007.

In 2007, the RIT Tigers (women) left ECAC East for the ECAC West  and the Norwich Cadets women's ice hockey team joined the conference

The Nichols Bison women's program began play in 2008.

The Salem State Vikings (men) left ECAC East when the MASCAC re-formed in 2009.

In 2009, the MIT Engineers women's team has been discontinued by the university.  The team had played a reduced schedule for most of its existence.  There was no men's team.

The Franklin Pierce Ravens (D-II) and University of New England Nor'Easters (D-III) women's teams joined the conference in 2014 from being an Independent.

After the 2016-17 season, the non-Division III members (Holy Cross Crusaders, Franklin Pierce Ravens, St. Anselm Hawks, and St. Michael's Purple Knights will be out of the conference.  Holy Cross is rumored to be destined for Hockey East as part of the fallout from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish leaving that conference to join the Big Ten Conference as an associate member in men's ice hockey.  The men's program is the leading candidate to replace Notre Dame in the men's conference and that would force Holy Cross to elevate the women's program to Division I status, but even if the men's team doesn't join Hockey East the steps are being taken to elevate the women's program to Division I.

The Manhattanville Valiants are also leaving the conference after the 2016-17 season to join the newly formed United Collegiate Hockey Conference and also be a member of the Middle Atlantic Conferences newly formed hockey conference.

On January 24, 2017 the Hobart Statesmen announced they were withdrawing from the newly formed United Collegiate Hockey Conference which is slated to start for the 2017-18 season and will instead join the New England Hockey Conference. The team was a member of the ECAC West for the 2016-17 season.

On January 26, 2017 The conference announced that the Johnson and Wales Wildcats (men's and women's teams), Suffolk Rams (men's and women's) and Salem State Vikings (women's only) would be joining the conference for the 2018-19 season. Both men's teams are joining from the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the two existing women's teams joining from the Colonial Hockey Conference and the Suffolk Rams women's team being a new program for the 2018-19 season.

Teams ineligible for Conference Tournament or NCAA TournamentEdit

The Holy Cross Crusaders (women) are a Division I team playing a Division III schedule. The St. Anselm Hawks and St. Michael's Purple Knights (men and women) are Division II teams playing Division III schedules. None of those three teams is eligible for the ECAC East playoffs or the Division III tournament.  This appears to be true in the new conference as well.  St. Anselm and St. Michael's  have participated in a Northeast-10 conference playoff tournament.

According to an article in the Manchester Union Leader newspaper in mid-October 2016, the conference is apparently planning on becoming stictly a NCAA Division III conference for the 2017-18 season.  St. Anselm Hawks are reportedly not being offered a renewal on their contract to play in the conference for the 2017-18 season.  St. Anselm had previously stated earlier in 2016 that they were considering moving to Division III for all sports but reversed that decision and stated they would stay in Division II in May 2016.  This move by the conference may force St. Michaels (D-II), Franklin Pierce (D-II) and Holy Cross (D-I) out of the league as well.  Protests have occurred on the campus on St. Anselm protesting the school's decision as some students are upset that the men's and women's teams both will not have a conference to play in for 2017-18 or be forced in to a weaker conference (Northeast-10); essentially restricting the teams to have only six opponents for the season.

Holy Cross announced in late October 2016 that it would elevate its women's program to full Division I status for the 2017-18 season.  The school has been rumored to be moving its men's program to Hockey East as a replacement for the departing Notre Dame Fighting Irish men's ice hockey program  which is leaving the conference for the Big Ten Conference for the 2017-18 season.  The move of the men's program would appparently force the school to elevate the women's program to Division I, the men's program would also be forced into a larger arena as Hockey East requires a minimum capacity of 4,000.  The only facility that big in the area would be the DCU Center.  The school stated that is was hoping to announce a conference affiliation for its women's program in December or January.  The three options for affiliation are College Hockey America, ECAC and Hockey East.  An independent schedule for 2017-18 is also mentioned as a possibility.  

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