St. Thomas joins Division I men’s hockey

| July 31, 2020 | 0 Comments

The final piece of the puzzle is in place.

As the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul moves from Division III athletics to Division I, it announced July 29 that it has found a home for its men’s hockey program in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

St. Thomas is joining the universities of Bemidji State and Minnesota State, Bowling Green in Ohio and Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan, all in Michigan.

The CCHA is reforming to begin in the 2021-22 season after the league disbanded in 2013 with conference realignments.

St. Thomas was involuntarily removed from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in May 2019. The university announced July 15 that is moving up to Division I for all of its sports, making it the first school in NCAA modern history to reclassify straight to Division I. Hockey was the last program to find a conference in which to play.

The university’s football and other sports will be played in this academic year in the MIAC, which announced July 28 that it is postponing several fall sports because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The conference is laying plans to play football, cross country, soccer and volleyball in the spring this academic year. Men’s and women’s golf and tennis, which have been categorized as low-risk sports for contracting the virus, will be played this fall, but only against conference opponents.

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