NCHL expands to 12 teams, welcomes UW Milwaukee and Northern Illinois University

From NCHL Hockey


University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and Northern Illinois University are making the jump to DII and have been accepted to the NCHL for the 2022-23 season, increasing the NCHL’s membership to 12 teams for the first time in league history.

During the past three MACHA Silver league seasons UWM has finished in 1st place, made the Regional Tournament, and got to the National Tournament once. From the 2014-15 season to the 2016-17 season NIU finished in 1st place in the MACHA Bronze. As a result, UWM and NIU decided now was the right time to take their programs to the next level. “UWM and NIU’s DIII programs have had great success and are proven entities, which made their application for membership attractive to our members,” said NCHL Commissioner Dan Breunig.

Breunig stated, “both UWM and NIU were impressed with the NCHL’s competitiveness, membership, and what the league embodied.” He further stated, “our goal is to be the premier DII league in the country and the addition of these two programs philosophies, facilities, and players match what this conference was built to be.” JC Weems, NIU’s General Manager, said joining the NCHL was a no-brainer on their end.

Both UWM and NIU know that the DII level will bring with it new challenges, but they are ready to face them head on. This excitement at new possibilities is one of the reasons the NCHL is excited to have them be a part of the league.

UWM and NIU will be members of the Orange Division when they start conference play next season.

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