|College Hockey America|
|Region||New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri|
|Commissioner||Robert M. DeGregorio, Jr. (since 2010)|
College Hockey America (CHA) is a women's college ice hockey conference in the United States. It participates in the NCAA's Division I as a hockey-only conference. The conference is made up of six teams, with three in Pennsylvania; two in New York, and one in Missouri.
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).
The newly formed women's division of the CHA began play in the 2002–03 season with four teams. 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.
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. The conference announced that Lindenwood University would officially join the CHA for the 2012–2013 season. 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. 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. 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. 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.
|Institution||Location||Nickname||Founded||Affiliation||Enrollment||Joined||Women's conference championships||Men's Hockey conference||Primary Conference||Colors|
|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, 2018||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)|
|Robert Morris University||Moon Township, Pennsylvania||Colonials||1921||Private/Non-sectarian||5,000||2005A||2012, 2017||Atlantic Hockey||Horizon League|
|Syracuse University||Syracuse, New York||Orange||1870||Private/Non-sectarian||19,082||2008||2019||NECHL (Club)||ACC|
- ^A Men's team joined in 2004
Former (Women's Division) members
- University of Findlay Oilers, 1999-2004 (dropped program)
- Quinnipiac University Bobcats, 2004–2005 (moved to ECAC)
- Wayne State University Warriors, 2002–2011 (dropped program)
- Niagara University Purple Eagles, 2002–2012 (dropped program)
|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|
|Robert Morris||Colonials Arena||1,100|
|Syracuse||Tennity Ice Skating Pavilion||350|
CHA Tournament (Women's) history
Prior to 2013, the CHA tournament was hosted at a predetermined site. From 2013–2015, the two first-round series were each played at the home of the higher seed, with the semifinals and final held at the home of the number one seed. In 2016, the two first round series remained as before, but the semifinals and finals were held at the LECOM Harborcenter in downtown Buffalo, New York. Starting in 2017, the two first-round series were replaced by a pair of single games, allowing all five games of the six-team tournament to be played at the LECOM Harborcenter.
|2004||Mercyhurst||3–1||Niagara||Lewiston, New York|
|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|
|2011||Mercyhurst||5–4||Syracuse||Syracuse, New York|
|2012||Robert Morris||3–2||Mercyhurst||Pittsburgh, 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||6-2||Robert Morris||Buffalo, New York|
NCAA 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 autobid was granted.
In the table below, all NCAA appearances prior to 2015 were at-large selections.
|2005||Mercyhurst||Harvard||L 5–4 (3ot)|
|2006||Mercyhurst||Wisconsin||L 2–1 (2ot)|
|2007||Mercyhurst||Minnesota–Duluth||L 3–2 (ot)|
|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|
|2013||Mercyhurst||Cornell||W 4–3 (ot)|
|Boston University||L 1–4 (frozen four)|
|Clarkson||L 1–5 (frozen four)|
|2017||Robert Morris||Wisconsin||L 0-7|
|2018||Mercyhurst||Clarkson||L 1-2 (ot)|
Men's Division history (1999–2010)
The CHA was 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 was 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 its hockey programs following the 2003–2004 season, to be replaced by Robert Morris, which began play in 2004–2005. After Air Force left for Atlantic Hockey in 2006 and Wayne State dropped its 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. However, these efforts came up short, with CHA and school personnel citing Title IX as a major hurdle in the negotiations.
On January 29, 2009, Niagara University announced that it and Robert Morris University were moving to Atlantic Hockey beginning in the 2010–11 season. 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 following the announced departure of Nebraska-Omaha and was denied. As a result, Alabama-Huntsville began competing as an independent team beginning with the 2010–11 season.
There were eight member schools in total during the eleven men's seasons. The conference began in the 1999–2000 season with seven teams, and ended in 2009–2010 with four.
|University of Alabama in Huntsville||Huntsville, Alabama||Chargers||1999–2010||2007, 2010||Independent||WCHA|
|Bemidji State University||Bemidji, Minnesota||Beavers||1999–2010||2005, 2006, 2009||WCHA|
(CCHA in 2021)[a]
|University of Findlay||Findlay, Ohio||Oilers||1999–2004||–||dropped program|
|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|
- This league shares its name with a former CCHA that operated from 1971 to 2013.
CHA Tournament (Men's Division)
Tournament champions were awarded the Bob Peters Cup. Note: 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.
|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|
NCAA postseason (Men's) hockey history
|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)|
|2009||Bemidji State||Notre Dame||W 5–1|
|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.
At the conclusion of each regular season schedule the coaches of each CHA team voted which players they choose to be on the three All-Conference Teams: first team, second team and rookie team. Additionally they voted to award 4 individual trophies to an eligible player at the same time. The CHA also awarded an 'Easton Three-Star Player of the Year', given to the player with the highest point total with respect to their being named a star of a game, and a Most Valuable Player in Tournament which was voted on at the conclusion of the conference tournament. All awards, with the exception of the Three-Star Player of the Year, were awarded every year of the conference's existence.
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- "WCHA Brings Aboard Bemidji, Omaha". USCHO.com. Archived from the original on September 9, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
- Lerch, Chris (January 28, 2009). "Atlantic Hockey Approves Expansion: Niagara and Robert Morris To Join". USCHO.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
- Staff (May 27, 2011). "Wayne State drops women's program; CHA left with four teams". U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
- Staff (November 11, 2011). "Lindenwood formally admitted into CHA". U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- Staff (September 14, 2011). "Lindenwood files application to join CHA". U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
- Lerch, Chris (March 20, 2012). "RIT to go D-I, play full CHA schedule in 2012–13". U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
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- Staff (July 6, 2011). "Penn State women apply to CHA". U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
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- Shaver, Wally. "News and notes from the 2008 NCAA Men's Frozen Four". Retrieved January 28, 2010.
- "Niagara and Robert Morris set to join Atlantic Hockey for 2010–11 season". Atlantic Hockey. January 29, 2009. Archived from the original on January 30, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- Snow, Bob (October 21, 2010). "Bemidji State, Nebraska-Omaha join WCHA". NHL. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- Staff (August 11, 2009). "CCHA denies hockey program's application for admission". U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- McLaughlin, Budd (September 23, 2009). "UAH program standing alone". The Huntsville Times.
- Johnson, Randy (February 18, 2020). "CCHA will be new name for seven teams leaving WCHA in 2021-22". Star Tribune. Minneapolis. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
- "Bemidji State men's hockey: Read, Hunt named to All-CHA team". The Bemidji Pioneer. March 12, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
- "CHA Awards". College Hockey Historical Archive. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
- "All-CHA Teams". College Hockey Historical Archive. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
- "CHA All-Rookie Teams". College Hockey Historical Archive. Retrieved July 31, 2013.