MARSHFIELD, Mass. – Eight institutions formerly comprising the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) North Atlantic Women's Ice Hockey League announced on Monday a change in name and administration to the league. Effective this season the league will be named the Colonial Hockey Conference (CHC).
Becker College, Daniel Webster College, Endicott College, Johnson & Wales University, Morrisville State College, Salem State University, Stevenson University and SUNY Canton women's ice hockey programs will comprise the CHC.
Jamie Marcoux, Director of Athletics at Johnson and Wales, Jason Doviak, Associate Director of Athletics and Recreation for Salem State, and Randy Sieminski, Director of Athletics at SUNY Canton, will serve as the league's Executive Committee.
"We are thrilled to see the continued growth and commitment to women's ice hockey with the creation of the new Colonial Hockey Conference," said Marcoux. "Each institution in the CHC is committed to providing an exceptional experience for all of our student athletes, coaches, and fans."
"The Colonial Hockey Conference's inaugural year is something we have all worked very hard to organize for the benefit of our student-athletes, coaches, and member institutions," echoed Doviak. "There is a lot of excitement on the Salem State campus as the season nears and we are all looking forward to watching and supporting our women's team compete."
The league is comprised of institutions spanning five states (Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, New Hampshire and Rhode Island) with each state being recognized as one of the nation's 13 original colonies.
Sieminski reiterated the sentiments of his Executive Committee counterparts, "This is an outstanding group of colleges, athletic departments and women's hockey programs that have come together to form this conference. The inaugural season of competition will be exciting and rewarding for everyone involved. Teams and players are anxious to get underway this weekend, and we are proud to be a part of this historical expansion of women's college hockey."
The NCAA Management Council accepted the CHC as an active Division III single-sport playing conference this past April. The conference will be eligible for automatic qualification into the NCAA tournament after two seasons of league play.
Andy McPhee, head coach at Endicott, will serve as the league's Coaches' Chair. McPhee, like all of the league coaches, is excited to see his program hit the ice this season, "The League will make for a competitive and rewarding experience for all the student-athletes. We would like to thank the presidents, athletic directors and all those involved who made this opportunity possible. The student-athletes and coaches are eager to represent our institutions on the ice in the inaugural season of the Colonial Hockey Conference."
Endicott will kick-off the season with a non-conference tilt vs. Plymouth State University on Friday, October 30 at the Puck Drop Classic held at Nichols College. League play will begin on Friday, November 6 with six of the eight institutions in action while Stevenson and Becker will begin conference play the following day, November 7.