Ice Hockey Wiki
College Hockey America
NCAA Division I Conference
College Hockey America.jpg
Founded: 1999
Number of teams: 5 (as of May 2021)
Commissioner: Robert M. DeGregorio, Jr.
Defending champions (women): Mercyhurst Lakers (2020) 13th title

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 six women's teams in Michigan, Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania.


The CHA was founded as a men's-only league in the 1999–2000 season. The conference was formed by seven teams, three of which were Division I independent teams, another three moving up from Division II, after the NCAA stopped sanctioning Division II hockey in 1998, and one new varsity program (Wayne State).[1]

The newly formed women's division of the CHA began play in the 2002–03 season with four teams.[2] Findlay, Mercyhurst and Wayne State were former Great Lakes Women’s Hockey Association members, while Niagara played previously in the ECAC.

The CHA Women's Division managed to remain at four teams between 2002–2008; although teams continued to come and go. In 2004, Findlay dropped its women's hockey program and was replaced by Quinnipiac University for one season. In 2005, the Bobcats removed its women's team and moved to another conference (ECAC). They were replaced by the Colonials women's ice hockey team of Robert Morris University. In 2008–09, Syracuse University started up its women's hockey program and joined the conference; bringing the total number of teams in the CHA Women's Division up to five.

The CHA Men's Division folded after the 2009–2010 season, leaving the CHA as a women's only conference. The fate of the four remaining CHA men's teams was as follows: Niagara and Robert Morris moved to Atlantic Hockey; Bemidji State joined the WCHA; and Alabama-Huntsville continued play as an independent, but have since moved to the WCHA.[3][4]

The 2011–12 academic year and season brought many changes to the CHA. Wayne State abruptly ended their women's hockey program, dropping conference membership to only four teams again for the 2011–12 season.[5] The conference announced that Lindenwood University would officially join the CHA for the 2012–2013 season.[6] Lindenwood, then in the process of transitioning its athletic programs from the NAIA to the NCAA, had already been slated to play ten games against CHA opponents in its first season of NCAA competition as an independent program for the 2011–12 season.[7] On March 19, 2012, Niagara announces it was dropping its women's ice hockey program effective immediately; as a result, the Rochester Institute of Technology team was allowed to immediately join the CHA upon its move from D-III to D-I for the 2012–13 season.[8][9] Penn State, which had announced it would upgrade its men's and women's hockey from club to NCAA Division I status for 2012, was accepted for admission to the CHA for the 2012–13 season.[10] In sum, the CHA continued as a women's-only conference for the 2012–13 season and beyond with a total of six teams consisting of Mercyhurst (original member from 2002); Robert Morris (joined 2005); Syracuse (joined 2008) and new members Penn State, Lindenwood and RIT.[8]

The Robert Morris Lady Colonials ice hockey team would be eliminated along with the men's team on May 26, 2021.[11]


Institution Location Nickname Founded Affiliation Enrollment Joined Women's conference championships Men's Hockey conference Primary Conference
Lindenwood University St. Charles, Missouri Lady Lions 1827 Private/Presbyterian 12,213 2012 0 CSCHL (Club) MIAA (D-II)
Mercyhurst University Erie, Pennsylvania Lakers 1926 Private/Catholic 4,106 2002 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 Atlantic Hockey PSAC (D-II)
Pennsylvania State University University Park, Pennsylvania Nittany Lions 1855 Public/State-related 44,817 2012 0 Big Ten Big Ten
Rochester Institute of Technology Henrietta, New York Tigers 1829 Private/Non-sectarian 18,063 2012 2014, 2015 Atlantic Hockey Liberty League (D-III)
Syracuse University Syracuse, New York Orange 1870 Private/Non-sectarian 19,082 2008 0 NECHL (Club) ACC
^A  Men's team joined in 2004

Former (Women's Division) members

Conference arenas

School Arena Capacity
Lindenwood Centene Community Ice Center 4,000
Mercyhurst Mercyhurst Ice Center 1,500
Penn State Pegula Ice Arena 6,000
RIT Gene Polisseni Center 4,300
Syracuse Tennity Ice Skating Pavilion 350

Women's tournament finals

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
2011 Mercyhurst 5–4 Syracuse Syracuse, New York
2012 Robert Morris 3–2 Mercyhurst Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2013 Mercyhurst 4–1 Syracuse Erie, Pennsylvania
2014 RIT 2–1 (2ot) Mercyhurst Erie, Pennsylvania
2015 RIT 2–1 (2ot) Syracuse Erie, Pennsylvania
2016 Mercyhurst 4–3 (ot) Syracuse Buffalo, New York
2017 Robert Morris 2-0 Syracuse Buffalo, New York
2018 Mercyhurst 5-3 Robert Morris Buffalo, New York
2019 Syracuse 5-3 Robert Morris Buffalo, New York
2020 Mercyhurst 2-1 Robert Morris Buffalo, New York
2021 Robert Morris 1-0 Syracuse Buffalo, New York

Postseason women's hockey history

Prior to the 2014–15 season, The CHA did not have an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for its conference tournament champion. At that time, with membership having remained stable at six teams (Mercyhurst, Robert Morris, Syracuse, Lindenwood, RIT, and Penn State) for two consecutive seasons, the auto-bid was granted.

In the table below, all NCAA appearances prior to 2015 were at-large selections.

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)
2011 Mercyhurst Boston University L 2–4
2012 Mercyhurst Wisconsin L 3–1
2013 Mercyhurst Cornell W 4–3 (ot)
Boston University L 1–4 (frozen four)
2014 Mercyhurst Cornell W 3–2
Clarkson L 1–5 (frozen four)
2015 RIT Minnesota L 2–6
2016 Mercyhurst Wisconsin L 0–6
2017 Robert Morris Wisconsin L 0-7
2018 Mercyhurst Clarkson L 1-2 (ot)
2019 Syracuse Wisconsin L 0-4
2020 Mercyhurst N/A-Tournament cancelled N/A
2021 Mercyhurst Northeastern L, 1-5

Men's division

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.[1] However, these efforts came up short, with CHA and school personnel citing Title IX as a major hurdle in the negotiations.[14]

On January 29, 2009, Niagara University announced that it and Robert Morris University were moving to Atlantic Hockey beginning in the 2010-11 season.[15] 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[16] following the announced departure of Nebraska-Omaha and was denied. [17] As a result, Alabama-Huntsville began competing as an independent team beginning with the 2010–11 season.

Member schools

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[13]
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 games

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

Regular season champions

Regular Season Champions and their conference records.

  • 2000 - Niagara (15-0-2)
  • 2001 - Alabama-Huntsville (15-4-1)
  • 2002 - Wayne State (15-2-3)
  • 2003 - Alabama-Huntsville (13-5-2)
  • 2004 - Bemidji State (16-3-1)
  • 2005 - Bemidji State (16-4-0)
  • 2006 - Niagara (13-6-1)
  • 2007 - Niagara (9-5-6)
  • 2008 - Bemidji State (13-4-3)
  • 2009 - Bemidji State (12-5-1)
  • 2010 - Bemidji State (14-3-1)

Postseason Men's Hockey History

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-Breakers

  • 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. 1.0 1.1 Brown, Scott (April 23, 2006). A New World Order. Retrieved on March 15, 2010.
  2. Morris, Geof F. (August 1, 2002). College Hockey America Starts Division I Women's League. Retrieved on March 15, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 WCHA Brings Aboard Bemidji, Omaha. Retrieved on March 15, 2010.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Lerch, Chris (January 28, 2009). Atlantic Hockey Approves Expansion: Niagara and Robert Morris To Join. Retrieved on March 15, 2010.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Staff (May 27, 2011). Wayne State drops women’s program; CHA left with four teams. U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved on May 27, 2011.
  6. Staff. "Lindenwood formally admitted into CHA", U.S. College Hockey Online, November 11, 2011. Retrieved on November 11, 2011. 
  7. Staff. "Lindenwood files application to join CHA", U.S. College Hockey Online, September 14, 2011. Retrieved on September 14, 2011. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Lerch, Chris. "RIT to go D-I, play full CHA schedule in 2012–13", U.S. College Hockey Online, March 20, 2012. Retrieved on March 23, 2012. 
  9. Horgan, Candace. "One step forward, one step back for CHA with Niagara dropping hockey", U.S. College Hockey Online, March 19, 2012. Retrieved on March 23, 2012. 
  10. Staff (July 6, 2011). Penn State women apply to CHA. U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved on July 16, 2011.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Wodon, Adam (January 6, 2004). Findlay To Drop Hockey. Retrieved on March 14, 2010.
  14. Shaver, Wally. News and notes from the 2008 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four. Retrieved on 2010-01-28.
  15. Niagara Men's Hockey To Join Atlantic Hockey
  16. Alabama-Huntsville interested in CCHA, WCHA
  17. CCHA denies hockey program's application for admission - Press Release - Aug. 11, 2009
  18. McLaughlin, Budd. "UAH program standing alone", The Huntsville Times, September 23, 2009. 

External Links

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at College Hockey America. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).