The University of Rhode Island, often rumored to be considering a move into NCAA Division I men’s hockey, and Division III St. Anselm were confirmed by multiple sources as the programs looking to fill the vacancy in the Atlantic Hockey Association following this coming season.
Air Force plays in the AHA. Connecticut enters its final AHA season this fall before joining Hockey East with the start of the 2014-15 season.
URI plays home games at the 11-year-old Bradford R. Boss Arena (capacity 2,500) in Kingston, R.I. Club coach Joe Augustine is 505-231-43, including the 2006 national championship, in 23 seasons coaching the URI program.
The Boston Herald is reporting there is a R.I. group trying to raise $5 million to start the varsity program.
Saint Anselm, a very successful ECAC East program, plays in the 11-year-old Thomas F. Sullivan Arena (capacity 2,400) in Manchester, N.H.. Coach Ed Seney is 326-301-44 in 25 years.
There was no confirmation available that either program had officially applied of how Title IX concerns (equitable scholarship offerings) would be addressed.
Atlantic Hockey will have a 28-game league schedule beginning in 2014-15 with each team facing 10 league opponents twice for a total of 20 games, plus an eight-game rotation. The AHA also will increase scholarships allowed to 13 in 2014-15 and 14 in 2015-2016. Many western schools have pushed for the full 18 NCAA limit in order to be more competitive.
The addition of another Division I program would increase the national total to 60.