Only Men's ice hockey is sponsored in the conference, which started for the 2003-04 season (standings for the 1999-00 to 2002-03 seasons were based off of ECAC records). The league members were all members of the ECAC Northeast and ECAC East through the 2008-09 season and had their own playoffs. As the conference is Division II (NCAA) they do not participate in the NCAA Division III Men's Hockey Championship. St. Anselm Hawks and St. Michael's Purple Knights played in NCAA Division III level New England Hockey Conference (formerly ECAC East) and were ineligible for their post season tournament or the national tournament as they play in Division II in all other sports. The members of the NEHC (St. Anselm and St. Michael's) also participated in the NE10 conference tournament at the end of the season while members of the New England Hockey Conference. The NEHC announced that it would be strictly a Division III league beginning with the 2017-18 season and as a result of that decision St. Anselm and St. Michael's were both out of the conference. They would become full members of the conference for men's ice hockey as on January 9, 2017 the conference announced that the conference was expanding its' regular season schedule to 18 games with the addition of the Post University Eagles to the conference as a scheduling partner to give each of the 6 full members of the league 18 regular season games (3 against each league opponent) at the Division II level, Post University will not participate the conference tournaement. The release also stated that eligibility guidelines for junior hockey players was corrected by the NCAA to make it in line with D-I and D-III guidelines which were less strict than D-II.
Conference Members that play Men's hockey in other ConferencesEdit
Three members play in other conferences for men's ice hockey as these schools are Division I programs for men's ice hockey:
- American International Yellow Jackets (Atlantic Hockey)
- Bentley Falcons (Atlantic Hockey)
- Merrimack Warriors (Hockey East)
Women's Hockey playing schoolsEdit
Four conference members sponsor women's varsity ice hockey and as the league does not sponsor the sport for women they play in other leagues:
- Franklin Pierce Ravens
- Merrimack Warriors (member of D-I Hockey East)
- Saint Michael's College Purple Knights
- Saint Anselm Hawks
Up until the 2016-17 season, the three non- Division-I teams were members of what is now the New England Hockey Conference. That conference decided to go to a strictly Division-III membership as the NCAA was not including games against non- Division III opponents in considering at-large bids to the NCAA tournament. Those three teams (plus Northeast-10 scheduling partner Post University) will become part of a new scheduling alliance that will create a six team "conference" that will begin play for the 2017-18 season. This new alliance will also include the Sacred Heart Pioneers (presently a D-I Independent) and the Holy Cross Crusaders (presently a D-III team that is moving to D-I for 2017-18). The teams will play each other four times and hold a tournament to determine a champion. No name was announced with the release of the alliance in January 2017, or if this would be a one year arrangement or possibly a new conference. This may hinge on the Holy Cross team possibly joining Hockey East sometime in the future as the men's program has been rumored to be a replacement for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish who are leaving the conference after the 2016-17 season.
The league started to sponsor its own playoffs in 2000 (while its members played in other conferences in the regular season. (For 2003-04 to 2008-09 seasons see ECAC Northeast and ECAC East pages for those seasons, as members played in those conferences and the NE-10 Conference held playoffs).
The league schedule consisted of playing 1 time against each member season from 2003-04 to 2008-09- Since 2009-10 (when St. Anselm Hawks and St. Michael's Purple Knights stop playing regular season conference games) the four teams playing the regular season met each other 3 times for a total of 9 conference games for each team.
The conference schedule would be changed to an 18 game schedule for all teams beginning with the 2017-18 season.
- Note: For the 2016 conference tournament the Stonehill Skyhawks were declared champions by the conference as the highest remaining seed when final against the Saint Anselm Hawks has to be cancelled due to mumps outbreak on the Saint Anselm campus and the game could not be scheduled within a reasonable time frame due to the outbreak and exasperated by the fact that both schools were on spring break for nearly two more weeks.