The conference formed in 2006 after members of the now defunct University Hockey League organized the league and moved from the ACHA's Division II to Division I. With eight members, each CHMA team plays every other team in a home and away series, producing a regular season of 14 games. The regular season champion receives an automatic bid to the ACHA Division I National Tournament. Additionally, each year, the league holds single-elimination playoff tournament. In 2010, season champion Slippery Rock declined their bid to the national tournament. In 2012, the conference experienced expansion when Mercyhurst and Robert Morris joined.
Since the 2007–08 season, the conference's regular season champion receives an automatic bid to the Division I national tournament. In the conference's first season in 2006–07, West Virginia earned a spot in the tournament based on their national ranking, winning neither the regular season nor the conference tournament. Washington & Jefferson College also earned a berth to the 2006-07 ACHA Division I National Tournament having won the CHMA regular season title and ranking 14th overall. In the 2014-2015 season, the conference saw two teams represented for the second time in nine seasons.
2016: #19 Mercyhurst defeated in first round by #14 Delaware.
2015: #18 Robert Morris defeated in first round by #15 Niagara / #20 John Carroll (HOST) defeated in first round by #13 Illinois.
2014: #20 West Virginia defeated in first round by #13 Navy.
2013: #20 John Carroll defeated in first round by #13 Liberty.
2012: #17 West Virginia defeated #16 Rutgers in first round; was defeated in second round by #1 Penn State.
2011: #16 Slippery Rock defeated in first round by #1 Lindenwood; won 15th-place consolation game against #15 Rutgers.
2010: Slippery Rock declined invitation; was not replaced by another conference team.
2009: #15 Duquesne defeated in first round by #2 Penn State.
2008: #14 West Virginia defeated in first round by #3 Penn State.
2007: #13 West Virginia defeated in first round by #4 Rhode Island; won 13th-place consolation game against #9 Kent State / #14 Washington & Jefferson defeated in first round by #3 Illinois; lost 15th place consolation game against #16 Robert Morris (PA).