UCHC Men get Automatic Bid

Compiled by D3hockey.com Staff

After well over a decade of waiting for many, the men's membership of the United Collegiate Hockey Conference will have even more to play for this upcoming postseason. The NCAA Championships Committee announced in their June 2018 report that the UCHC membership has been approved for an Automatic Bid to the NCAA tournament for its conference tournament champion effective for the 2019 tournament. 

The approval comes as of a result of a related decision to allow the UCHC to utilize the 2016-17 season as part of the NCAA's two year probationary period for automatic qualifier status. Per NCAA guidelines, a conference must maintain a membership of seven teams for a two year period to receive an automatic bid.

Previously, the NCAA voted not to allow the UCHC to use 2016-17 as part of that requirement last summer, as the membership of the conference conducted play under a previous administration and the UCHC had not formally played its first game yet. That decision, if upheld this Summer, would have pushed the expected timetable for the league to receive an automatic bid to 2020.

With one season under its belt, the UCHC asked the NCAA to re-consider, and the championships committee deemed it appropriate for the UCHC to proceed with an automatic bid given the continuity of teams in the conference over that time period, among other factors. 

The decision is a significant victory for UCHC member schools. UCHC teams previously needed to reach the lofty achievement of an At-Large selection from the NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Committee in order to make the NCAA tournament. This past season, only two conferences in the country, the UCHC and WIAC were required to do so as their only means of qualification. With an automatic qualifier now on the table, this change levels the playing field for access to the nation's biggest spotlight for those programs.

The changes do not affect the timetable for the UCHC women, who separated from an existing group of schools that held the automatic bid. The UCHC Women are presently on course to receive a new automatic bid of their own in 2020. 

Sunday, Dec. 16: All times Eastern
1:20 PM
Trine at Chatham
No contests today.
No contests today.