| New England Hockey Conference|
NCAA Division III Conference
|Number of teams:|| Men: 10|
|Defending champions (men):||Hobart Statesmen (2018)|
|Defending champions (women):||Norwich Cadets (2018)|
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 changed for the 2017-18 season as the conference made the decision to become an all D-III member conference. The Holy Cross Crusaders were D-I in all other programs and had already 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 as per Hockey East by-laws) or the eventual inclusion of both programs in Hockey East.
During the fall of 2016 protest occurred at St. Anselm over the women's program being forced from the conference by the new D-III only policy. This forced the men's 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 women's programs at Franklin Pierce and St. Michael's were also forced into the same situation as St. Anselm. The four departed members of the conference became part of a scheduling alliance of independent D-I and D-II teams, the New England Women's Hockey Alliance, for the 2017-18 season. The NEWHA would formally organize as a D-I conference in 2018–19, and received official NCAA recognition in 2019–20.
|MCLA Trailblazers||program dropped by school in 2003|
|Salem State Vikings||join MASCAC in 2009|
|St. Anselm Hawks||dropped by conference when it goes D-III only in 2017, join Northeast-10|
|St. Michael's Purple Knights||dropped by conference when it goes D-III only in 2017, join Northeast-10|
|University of New England Nor'Easters||join Commonwealth Coast Conference in 2016|
Conference tournament winners - runners-up in brackets
- 1985-86: Bowdoin (Babson)
- 1986-87: Merrimack (Babson)
- 1987-88: Merrimack (Bowdoin)
- 1988-89: Merrimack (Bowdoin)
- 1989-90: American International
- 1990-91: Middlebury
- 1991-92: Babson
- 1992-93: Bowdoin (Salem State)
- 1993-94: Salem State (Bowdoin)
- 1994-95: Salem State (Bowdoin)
- 1995-96: Amherst (Hamilton)
- 1996-97: Colby (Bowdoin)
- 1997-98: Hamilton (Connecticut College)
|Salve Regina Seahawks||join Commonwealth Coast Conference when formed for 2020-21 season|
|Suffolk Rams||join Commonwealth Coast Conference when formed for 2020-21 season|
|University of New England Nor'Easters||join Commonwealth Coast Conference when formed for 2020-21 season|
|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|
|Holy Cross Crusaders||program elevated to D-I for 2017-18 season; joined NEWHA in 2017 and moved to Hockey East in 2018|
|Franklin Pierce Ravens||dropped by league when conference went D-III only for 2017-18; joined NEWHA in 2017|
|St. Anselm Hawks||dropped by league when conference went D-III only for 2017-18; joined NEWHA in 2017|
|St. Michael's Purple Knights||dropped by league when conference went D-III only for 2017-18; joined NEWHA in 2017|
Women's Conference SeasonsEdit
Women's Conference TimelineEdit
- 1995-96 The ECAC starts a Division III Women's Conference, all teams play in one league
- 1998-99 The conference begins informal play as four divisions in the same conference with interlocking play
- 1999-00 MIT Engineers join the conference and formal conference scheduling begins as ECAC East
- 2000-01 The Holy Cross Crusaders and Manhattanville Valiants join the conference after playing as Division III Independents for their inaugural 1999-00 seasons
- 2001-02 Salve Regina Seahawks join the conference from being a D-III Independent; St. Michael's Purple Knights join the conference as a new program; Colgate Raiders and Vermont Catamounts leave the conference for ECAC Divison I Women's , and nine schools leave the conference to form the New England Small College Athletic Conference. They include the Amherst Lord Jeffs, Bowdoin Polar Bears, Colby Mules, Connecticut College Camels, Hamilton Continentals, Middlebury Panthers, Southern Maine Huskies, Trinity Bantams, Wesleyan Cardinals, and Williams Ephs
- 2002-03 New England Pilgrims join the conference after playing as a Division III Independent
- 2003-04 Union Dutchwomen leave the conference for ECAC Divison I Women's; Sacred Heart Pioneers leave the conference to become a Division I Independent, and Mass-Boston Beacons join the conference as a new program.
- 2004-05 Castleton Spartans join the conference when the women's hockey program is elevated to varsity status and the St. Anselm Hawks join the conference as a new program.
- 2005-06 Rensselaer Engineers leave the conference to become a Division I Independent.
- 2007-08 Plymouth State Panthers join the conference from being a D-III Independent, the Norwich Cadets join the conference as a new program, and RIT Tigers leave the conference to join ECAC West
- 2008-09 Nichols Bison join the conference as a new program.
- 2009-10 MIT Engineers leave the conference when the school discontinues women's ice hockey at the school.
- 2014-15 The University of New England Nor'Easters join the conference from being a D-III Independent and the Franklin Pierce Ravens join the conference from being a D-II Independent.
- 2015-16 The conference is renamed the New England Hockey Conference when the affiliation with the ECAC is ended.
- 2017-18 The four non-D-III schools are removed from the league (Holy Cross Crusaders will become a D-I team, Franklin Pierce Ravens, St. Anselm Hawks, and St. Michael's Purple Knights will become D-II teams). The Manhattanville Valiants join the United Collegiate Hockey Conference and Middle Atlantic Conferences. This also means an end to the conference's post season Open Tournament
Single Gender Teams (other gender team's league)Edit
Its men's member teams are:
Its women's member teams are:
- Holy Cross Crusaders (men play in D-I Atlantic Hockey)
- Manhattanville Valiants (men play in ECAC West)
- Nichols Bison (men play in Commonwealth Coast Conference)
- Plymouth State Panthers (men play in MASCAC)
- Salve Regina Seahawks (men play in Commonwealth Coast Conference)
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
The Plymouth State Panthers women's program began in 2006 and joined the conference in 2007.
The Nichols Bison women's program began play in 2008.
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.
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 Franklin Pierce, 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 were eligible for the ECAC East playoffs or the Division III tournament. This is 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. Michael's (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 officially 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 left the conference for the Big Ten Conference for the 2017-18 season. The move of the men's program would 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 and the women's program to be at the D-I level as well. 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 conference options for affiliation are College Hockey America, ECAC and Hockey East. An independent schedule for 2017-18 were also mentioned as a possibility. The four departing teams became part of a scheduling alliance for the 2017-18 season involving the other two independents in D-I and D-II.