NCAA Division I independent schools (ice hockey)

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Location of Division I
hockey independents

NCAA Division I independent schools are teams that compete in NCAA ice hockey but are not members of a conference. There are several current schools who, at one time or another, competed as Division I independents.

Current independent programs[edit]

Women[edit]

School Years Subsequent conference Notes
Sacred Heart Pioneers[1] 2003–present The Pioneers moved up from Division III (where they were a member of the ECAC East) in 2003. Its men's team plays in Atlantic Hockey, which does not sponsor women's hockey.

Current programs who were at one point independent[edit]

Men[edit]

School Years Subsequent conference Notes
Air Force Falcons[2] 1968–1999 CHA Joined Atlantic Hockey in 2006
Alabama–Huntsville Chargers[3] 1987–1992
1998–1999
2010–2013
Division II
CHA
WCHA
The Chargers first competed as a Division I independent between stints in Division II. After winning 2 championships and finishing as runners-up twice more, UAH returned to Division I in 1998, spending one season as an independent before becoming a charter member of College Hockey America. Following the demise of the men's side of CHA, and being denied entry to the CCHA,[4] the Chargers were independent for three seasons (2010–11 to 2012–13)[5] until joining the Western Collegiate Hockey Association beginning in the 2013–14 season.[6]
Alaska–Anchorage Seawolves[7] 1979–1985
1988–1993
GWHC
WCHA
The Seawolves competed as an independent following the demise of the Great West Hockey Conference. The school joined the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in 1993. UAA received NCAA tournament bids in 1990, 1991, and 1992 while an independent.
Alaska–Fairbanks Nanooks[8] 1925–1926
1932–1973
1988–1994
dropped program
Division II
CCHA
The Nanooks re-joined Division I in 1985 in the Great West Hockey Conference, and went independent following the conference's demise. They joined the Central Collegiate Hockey Association in 1994. Joined the WCHA in 2013.
American International Yellow Jackets[9] 1948–1998 MAAC
Army Black Knights[10] 1903–1961
1973–1984
1991–1999
ECAC
ECAC
CHA
Joined Atlantic Hockey in 2000
Bemidji State Beavers[11] 1947–1950
1959–1967
dropped program
Division III
Bemidji returned to Division I in 1999 as a charter member of College Hockey America, and moved to the WCHA for 2010–11.
Boston College Eagles[12] 1917–1961 ECAC Currently competes in Hockey East
Boston University Terriers[13] 1917–1961 ECAC Currently competes in Hockey East
Brown Bears[14] 1897–1961 ECAC
Clarkson Golden Knights[15] 1920–1961 ECAC
Colgate Raiders[16] 1915–1917
1920–1961
dropped program
ECAC
Colorado College Tigers[17] 1937–1951
1958–1959
MCHL
WCHA
Joined the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) in 2013
Cornell Big Red[18] 1900–1901
1902–1903
1906–1961
dropped program
dropped program
ECAC
Dartmouth Big Green[19] 1905–1961 ECAC
Denver Pioneers[20] 1949–1951
1958–1959
MCHL
WCHA
Joined the NCHC in 2013
Harvard Crimson[21] 1897–1961 ECAC
Holy Cross Crusaders[22] 1966–1998 MAAC
Lake Superior State Lakers[23] 1966–1972 CCHA Joined the WCHA in 2013
Maine Black Bears[24] 1977–1984 Hockey East
UMass Minutemen[25] 1908–1961
1993–1994
Division II
Hockey East
Dropped program from 1979 until 1993
Merrimack Warriors[26] 1984–1989 Hockey East Moved up from Division II in 1984. Merrimack received an NCAA tournament invitation in 1988 while an independent.
Miami RedHawks[27] 1978–1980 CCHA Joined the NCHC in 2013
Michigan Wolverines[28] 1922–1951
1958–1959
MCHL
WCHA
Moved to CCHA in 1981. Joined the new Big Ten men's hockey league in 2013.
Michigan State Spartans[29] 1921–1930
1949–1951
1958–1959
dropped program
MCHL
WCHA
Moved to CCHA in 1981. Joined the new Big Ten men's hockey league in 2013.
Michigan Tech Huskies[30] 1919–1951
1958–1959
MCHL
WCHA
Played in the CCHA from 1981–84. Re-joined the WCHA in 2013
Minnesota Golden Gophers[31] 1921–1951
1958–1959
MCHL
WCHA
Joined the new Big Ten men's hockey league in 2013
Minnesota–Duluth Bulldogs[32] 1930–1932
1946–1965
dropped program
WCHA
Joined the NCHC in 2013
Minnesota State Mavericks[33] 1996–1999 WCHA after moving up from Division II and before joining the WCHA.
New Hampshire Wildcats[34] 1924–1961
1964–1966
ECAC
ECAC
Currently competes in Hockey East
Niagara Purple Eagles[35] 1997–1999 CHA Niagara began varsity hockey in 1997, and became a charter member of the CHA in 1999. They moved to Atlantic Hockey for 2010–11.
North Dakota (no nickname; formerly Fighting Sioux)[36] 1929–1936
1946–1951
1958–1959
dropped program
MCHL
WCHA
Joined the NCHC in 2013
Northeastern Huskies[37] 1929–1961 ECAC Currently competes in Hockey East
Northern Michigan Wildcats[38] 1976–1977 CCHA Joined the WCHA in 2013
Notre Dame Fighting Irish[39] 1912–1927
1968–1971
1984–1991
dropped program
WCHA
CCHA
Left the CCHA in 2013 for Hockey East.
Ohio State Buckeyes[40] 1963–1971
1973–1975
CCHA
CCHA
Joined the new Big Ten men's hockey league in 2013
Penn State Nittany Lions 2012–2013 Big Ten In September 2010, Penn State announced they would add men's and women's NCAA Division I hockey programs in 2012, competing in their first season as an independent.[41] In March 2011, the Big Ten Conference announced that Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State would leave the CCHA, and Minnesota and Wisconsin announced that they would leave the WCHA to form a Big Ten hockey conference to begin play in the 2013–14 season.[42]
Princeton Tigers[43] 1900–1961 ECAC
Providence Friars[44] 1926–1927
1952–1954
1955–1961
dropped program
Northeast League
ECAC
Currently competes in Hockey East
RPI Engineers[45] 1901–1950 Tri-State League Moved to the ECAC in 1961
RIT Tigers[46] 2005–2006 Atlantic Hockey Played first year of its probation period after joining Division I as an independent.
Sacred Heart Pioneers[47] 1993–1998 MAAC
St. Cloud State Huskies[48] 1931–1942
1987–1990
dropped program
WCHA
Dropped their program during World War II, resumed in 1946 in Division II. Joined the NCHC in 2013.
St. Lawrence Saints[49] 1925–1930
1938–1961
dropped program
ECAC
Union Dutchmen[50] 1903–1949 dropped program Suspended their program from 1949–1975, resumed in Division III, before moving back to Division I in the ECAC in 1991.
Wisconsin Badgers[51] 1921–1935
1963–1969
dropped program
WCHA
Joined the new Big Ten men's hockey league in 2013
Yale Bulldogs[52] 1895–1961 ECAC

Women[edit]

School Years Subsequent conference Notes
Clarkson Golden Knights[53] 2003–2004 ECAC Played the first year of their program as an independent before joining the ECAC
Connecticut Huskies[54] 2000–2001 ECAC Played the first year of their program as an independent before joining the ECAC, and moving to Hockey East in 2002.
Lindenwood Lady Lions 2011–2012 CHA The university competed as an independent for the 2011–12 season during the transition process of joining the NCAA from NAIA, during which, the team was reclassifying from ACHA Division I to NCAA Division I. Lindenwood placed an application in Fall 2011 and was accepted as a member of CHA starting in the 2012–13 season.[55]
North Dakota (no nickname, formerly Fighting Sioux)[56] 2002–2004 WCHA Played the first years of their program as an independent before joining the WCHA
Quinnipiac Bobcats[57] 2002–2004 CHA Left the ECAC after 2002 and spent two years playing as an independent before joining the CHA. They returned to the ECAC after one season in the CHA.
RPI Engineers[45] 2005–2006 ECAC Moved up from Division III (where they were a member of the ECAC East) in 2005.

Defunct teams[edit]

Men[edit]

School Years Subsequent conference Notes
Boston State Warriors[58] 1962–1982 dropped program Program dropped when school merged with UMass Boston, who field a Division III team, in 1982.
Carnegie Tech Tartans[59] 1905–1910
1920–1921
dropped program
dropped program
Illinois Fighting Illini[60] 1937–1943 dropped program
UIC Flames[61] 1981–1982 CCHA Moved up from Division II in 1981. Program folded in 1996.
Iona Gaels[62] 1967–2003
1998–2002
dropped program Dropped their program after the 2002–2003 season after 5 seasons in Division I.
Fairfield Stags[63] 1974–1999 MAAC
MIT Engineers[64] 1906–1975 dropped program
Northern Arizona Lumberjacks[65][66] 1980–1985 GWHC Folded their program after one season in the GWHC.
Penn Quakers[67] 1898–1930 dropped program
Pittsburgh Panthers[68] 1896–1909 Intercollegiate League varsity hockey was played intermittently from at least 1896, varsity program dropped presumably around 1916, if not earlier.
Syracuse Orange[69] 1911–1913
1923–1928
1939–1940
dropped program
dropped program
dropped program
U.S. International Gulls[66][70] 1979–1985 GWHC Dropped their program in 1988.
Villanova Wildcats[62] 1929–1932
1982–1998
dropped program Dropped their program after the 1997–1998 season for Title IX reasons.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  4. ^ McLaughlin, Budd (August 11, 2009). "UAH denied admission to Central Collegiate Hockey Association". The Huntsville Times. 
  5. ^ McLaughlin, Budd (September 23, 2009). "UAH program standing alone". The Huntsville Times. 
  6. ^ "WCHA accepts Alabama-Huntsville for 2013–14 season". USCHO.com. January 17, 2013. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2013. 
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