Hockey East

The Hockey East Association, also known as Hockey East, is a college ice hockey conference which operates entirely in New England. It participates in the NCAA's Division I as a hockey-only conference.[1]

Hockey East Association
Hockey East
DivisionDivision I
Sports fielded
RegionNew England
HeadquartersWakefield, Massachusetts
CommissionerJoe Bertagna

Hockey East came into existence in 1984 for men's hockey when most of its current members split from what is today known as ECAC Hockey, after disagreements with the Ivy League members.[2] The women's league, the WHEA, began play in 2002.[3][4]

On October 5, 2011, the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish (an ACC member outside football) announced they would be joining Hockey East as the conference's first non-New England school in 2013 after the CCHA folded.[5] On March 22, 2016, Notre Dame subsequently announced their men's hockey team would leave Hockey East for the Big Ten Conference at the start of the 2017-2018 season.[6] The University of Connecticut (UConn) and Hockey East jointly announced on June 21, 2012 that UConn's men's team, then in Atlantic Hockey, would join the school's women's team in Hockey East in 2014.[7] On October 24, 2013, Merrimack College, already a member of the Hockey East men's league, announced that it would upgrade its women's team from club level to full varsity status effective in 2015 and join the Hockey East women's league.[8]

On May 2, 2017, the College of the Holy Cross announced that it would join Hockey East for women's hockey only starting in 2018-19.[9]


There are currently 12 member schools, with 11 participating in the men's division and 10 in the women's division.[10][11]

InstitutionLocationFoundedAffiliationEnrollmentPrimary ConferenceNicknameColors
Boston College Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 1863 Private/Catholic (Jesuit) 14,640 ACC Eagles          
Boston University Boston, Massachusetts 1839 Private/Non-sectarian (formerly Methodist) 31,766 Patriot League Terriers          
University of Connecticut Storrs, Connecticut 1881 Public 32,027 American
(Big East in 2020)
College of the Holy Cross Worcester, Massachusetts 1843 Private/Catholic (Jesuit) 2,787 Patriot League Crusaders (women) [lower-alpha 1]     
University of Maine Orono, Maine 1865 Public 11,222 America East Black Bears               
University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, Massachusetts 1863 27,269 Atlantic 10 Minutemen (Men)          
University of Massachusetts Lowell Lowell, Massachusetts 1894 18,316 America East River Hawks (Men)               
Merrimack College North Andover, Massachusetts 1947 Private/Catholic (Augustinian) 3,653 NEC Warriors          
University of New Hampshire Durham, New Hampshire 1866 Public 14,761 America East Wildcats               
Northeastern University Boston, Massachusetts 1898 Private/Non-sectarian 20,749 CAA Huskies          
Providence College Providence, Rhode Island 1917 Private/Catholic (Dominican) 4,585 Big East Friars               
University of Vermont Burlington, Vermont 1791 Public 11,999 America East Catamounts          
  1. Men play in Atlantic Hockey

Former members

Institution Location Nickname Joined Left Conference left for Current conference Colors
University of Notre Dame South Bend, Indiana Fighting Irish (Men) 2013 2017 Big Ten (affiliate)          

Membership timeline

  Men     Women     Both  



The Hockey East Championship Game has been held in Boston since 1987, first at the Boston Garden and now the TD Garden,[12] since 1996.[13] The first two were held in Providence, Rhode Island at the Providence Civic Center (now the Dunkin' Donuts Center).

The final game and the semifinal games are held on consecutive nights in mid-March at the Garden. The quarterfinal round takes place the previous weekend. The top eight teams in the league advance to the quarterfinal round: the quarterfinal round series are 2-out-of-3 series with all games played at the higher seed's rink. There have been two cases where the #8 seed won on the #1 team's ice.[14]


The Hockey East Championship was held in Boston from its inception in 2003 until 2007. The event was held at Northeastern's Matthews Arena in 2003 and 2004 before moving to BU's Walter Brown Arena in 2005. The tournament returned to Matthews Arena in 2006, was held at UNH's Whittemore Center in 2007, and at UConn's Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum in 2008. The tournament went back to UNH in 2009, Providence in 2010, and the last campus to host was Boston University in 2011. The tournament moved to Hyannis, Massachusetts in 2012, and Lawler Arena on the Merrimack College campus in North Andover, Massachusetts in 2016.


Boston College, Boston University, and Northeastern all take part in the annual Beanpot tournament with Harvard of ECAC Hockey.

The previously existing fierce rivalry between Boston College and Notre Dame, the Holy War on Ice, became a conference matchup with Notre Dame's arrival in Hockey East. The two are rivals in other sports as well, as both are members of the Atlantic Coast Conference for most sports (though Notre Dame's football team remains independent, they play BC in that sport on a regular basis). Maine also has a major rivalry with New Hampshire, often called "The Border War". Providence and UConn also have a great rivalry which spills over from the basketball court.

Rivalry NameTrophyMeetingsBeganLast
Green Line Rivalry-27419182018
Holy War on IceLefty Smith – John "Snooks" Kelley Memorial Trophy4319692018
Maine–New Hampshire men's ice hockey rivalry12819792018

Conference arenas

School Hockey Arena Capacity
Boston College Silvio O. Conte Forum 7,884
Boston University Agganis Arena (men)
Walter Brown Arena (women)
Holy Cross Hart Center 1,600
Maine Alfond Arena 5,641
Merrimack J. Thom Lawler Arena 2,549
New Hampshire Whittemore Center Arena 6,501
Northeastern Matthews Arena 4,666
Providence Schneider Arena 3,030
UConn XL Center (men)
Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum (women)
8,089[lower-alpha 1]
UMass Mullins Center 8,329
UMass Lowell Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell 6,496
Vermont Gutterson Fieldhouse 4,003
  1. The XL Center has a hockey capacity of 15,635, but UConn caps ticket sales at 8,089.[15]



At the conclusion of each regular season schedule the coaches of each Hockey East team vote which players they choose to be on the three All-Conference Teams:[16] first team, second team and rookie team (except for 1985–86 when no rookie team was selected). Additionally they vote to award up to 6 individual trophies to an eligible player at the same time. Hockey East also awards a Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player and names a tournament all-star team, which are voted on at the conclusion of the conference tournament. Four of these awards have been bestowed every year that Hockey East has been in operation.[17] In addition, the Scoring Champion and Goaltending Champions are named based solely on statistics the players made during the season.


The award for the top HEA player each year is the Cammi Granato Award, awarded since 2009. The NCAA Division I Women's Ice Hockey Player of the year, the Patty Kazmaier Award, has been won by HEA players Brooke Whitney (Northeastern) in 2002, Alexandra Carpenter (Boston College) in 2015, and Kendall Coyne (Northeastern) in 2016.

Television Rights

Hockey East games air locally on NESN and are available nationally on CBS All Access and SportsLive [18] [19]. Games previously aired nationally on NBCSN through the 2016 Hockey East Championship game [20] [21], and on American Sports Network prior to the service's closure [22]


  1. "BU nabs spot in Hockey East semis; Maine next – ESPN Boston". ESPN. March 15, 2010. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  2. He Could Go All the Way, U.S. College Hockey Online
  3. Maine news, sports, politics and obituaries — Bangor Daily News
  4. Hockey East News, Schedule, Scores, Statistics, Video –
  5. The Associated Press
  6. 22, Jim Connelly • Senior Writer • March; 2016. "Sources: Notre Dame leaving Hockey East for Big Ten in 2017". Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  7. "UConn Men's Hockey to Join Hockey East in 2014–2015" (Press release). Hockey East. June 21, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2012.
  8. "Merrimack College Women's Ice Hockey to Join Division I, Hockey East Ranks in 2015–16" (Press release). Merrimack College Athletics. October 24, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  9. Horgan, Candace (2017-05-02). "Holy Cross to join Women's Hockey East for 2018-19". Archived from the original on 2017-06-10. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  10. Standings :: :: U.S. College Hockey Online Archived 2012-09-18 at
  11. Standings :: :: U.S. College Hockey Online Archived 2012-09-14 at
  12. New England Hockey Journal: Hockey East playoff bracket set
  13. Eagles bear down in OT, win Hockey East title – The Boston Globe
  14. He Could Go All the Way :: :: U.S. College Hockey Online
  15. "Facilities: XL Center". UConn Huskies. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  16. "UMaine's Abbott named Hockey East Player of the Year, Hobey Baker finalist". The Maine Campus. 2012-03-15. Archived from the original on 2013-11-02. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
  17. "Hockey East Awards". College hockey Historical Archive. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
  18. "Hockey East and NESN Announce Multi-Year Partnership". Hockey East. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  19. "2019-2020 Hockey East Association Men's And Women's Game Schedule: Watch Live On CBS All Access". CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  20. "NBCSN AND HOCKEY EAST SIGN MULTI-YEAR EXTENSION" (PDF). Hockey East. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  21. "NBCSN to Televise Hockey East Championship Weekend" (PDF). Hockey East. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  22. "Hockey East League Television Package Announced" (PDF). Hockey East. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
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