DANBURY, Conn. -- Western Connecticut State University in Danbury will be adding NCAA men's ice hockey as a Division III varsity intercollegiate program.
The Colonials, who had been playing as a club program since 1994, will play a full schedule as an affiliated member of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference in the 2015-16 season. Western Connecticut will play at the Danbury Ice Arena, which is less than a mile from the school's Midtown Campus.
The Danbury Ice Arena currently houses the Danbury Whalers of the Federal Hockey League and was home of the WCSU men's ice hockey club for many years.
The addition of men's ice hockey brings WCSU's varsity athletics sponsorship to 15 and is the first expansion since the school re-established the field hockey in 2005.
"This is an exciting move for Colonial Athletics," said Western Connecticut State Athletic Director Ed Farrington. "Western Ice Hockey has enjoyed many years of success as a club sport and we intend on building a competitive and respected program as we move into the intercollegiate ranks. We are thrilled to continue a good relationship with the MASCAC that began with affiliations in men's and women's tennis and football."
The MASCAC first began hockey in 2008-09 with only four teams competing for a regular season title. In 2009, Westfield State along with Little East institutions Plymouth State and UMass-Dartmouth joined the conference to compete with Fitchburg State, Framingham State, Salem State and Worcester State.
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