ECAC 2

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ECAC 2
ECAC 2
Established1964
Dissolved1984
AssociationNCAA
DivisionDivision II
Membersbetween 14 and 32
Sports fielded
RegionNew England and New York

ECAC 2 was an intercollegiate athletic conference affiliated with the NCAA's College Division. The league was created as a way to fairly divide the upper- and lower-class programs that had been members of ECAC Hockey. In 1984 the conference was split in two, creating ECAC East and ECAC West as completely independent leagues.

History[edit]

Foundation[edit]

In 1950 college ice hockey received its first official conference, the Tri State League, and while the conference possessed a minimal number of teams it routinely received one of the two eastern bids to the NCAA tournament. Concurrently, once seven western schools formed their own conference they were able to earn both western bids each year because there were no other colleges in competition for tournament berths. This situation left one eastern bid available for at least two dozen eastern schools. The arrangement came to a head in 1961 when both eastern bids were given to Tri State League teams and very soon thereafter ECAC Hockey was formed. Following the same pattern as the western schools, every available eastern college joined the league, including the three remaining members of the Tri State League, and the 28-team mega conference was born.[1]

Due to the sheer number of universities in the conference none of the teams could guarantee playing each other so from the outset the conference standings were deemphasized and the eight teams that played in the conference tournament were selected by a committee based upon their perceived strength. This led to some schools like Williams, who finished 4th in the standings in 1962, not being invited to the tournament despite a 16–3–1 record against other ECAC schools because of their assumed weaker competition.

Split[edit]

The giant league remained in place for three seasons before being split in two. 15 teams that were willing to invest greater amounts of time, effort and money to their ice hockey programs remained in ECAC Hockey while the remaining 14 schools joined in a new league, ECAC 2. ECAC 2 was the first ice hockey conference formed for the NCAA College Division (which would later become Division III and Division II) and was virtually the only collection of schools in the country that played at the lower tier.[2] After only seven years the conference had doubled in size and once again created a lower tier (ECAC 3) though only six schools chose to leave for the lesser division in 1971.

Further Growth and Dissolution[edit]

ECAC 2 remained the sole conference outside Division I for several years but started getting some competition in the 1970s. In that time, however, the conference continued to grow larger until it possessed over 30 members by 1975 and divided itself internally into two divisions (East and West) which would continue for another decade.

In 1978, five years after dividing the college division into two numerical divisions, the NCAA began the NCAA Division II Men's Ice Hockey Championship and the inaugural title was won by ECAC 2 member, Merrimack. ECAC 2 would win four more championships over the next five years but by the mid 1980s many of the league members wanted to reclassify the league as Division III due to the scholarship and funding requirements for Division II teams. In 1984 the conference was split in to ECAC East and ECAC West as separate Division III conferences. At the same time the NCAA dissolved the Division II tournament and instituted the Division III tournament which then caused the NAIA to end its sponsorship of ice hockey.

Legacy[edit]

Most of the 46 programs that played in the ECAC 2 are still going as of 2018, with many having jumped up to the Division I ranks. While several schools have won Division III national titles in the years since the conference ended, both Maine and Union have won Division I national titles.

ECAC 2 Tournament[edit]

The ECAC 2 played a conference tournament from 1967 through its final season in 1984. The tournament served as the de facto Division II National Championship until the NCAA instituted a national tournament in 1978. That year ECAC 2 effectively split its conference in two by having two division tournaments (East and West) with all games between the two divisions counting for the regular season.

Member schools[edit]

In its 20-year existence ECAC 2 had 45 individual schools as members.

Location Athletic nickname Enrollment# Colors Founded Joined Left Succeeding Conference Current Conference
American International College Springfield, Massachusetts Yellow Jackets 1,700                1885 1964 1984 ECAC East Atlantic Hockey
Amherst College Amherst, Massachusetts Lord Jeffs[a 1] 1,817           1821 1964 1972 ECAC 3 NESCAC
Assumption College Worcester, Massachusetts Greyhounds 2,753           1904 1967 1971 ECAC 3 Northeast–10
United States Military Academy West Point, New York Cadets[a 2] 4,400                1802 1973 1980[a 3] ECAC Hockey Atlantic Hockey
Babson College Wellesley, Massachusetts Beavers 1,800           1919 1968 1984 ECAC East NEHC
Boston State College Boston, Massachusetts Warriors     1872 1966 1982 Merged with UMass Boston[a 4]
Bowdoin College Brunswick, Maine Polar Bears 1,805           1794 1964 1984 ECAC East NESCAC
Bridgewater State University Bridgewater, Massachusetts Bears 9,628 1840 1970 1981 Dropped Program
State University of New York at Brockport Brockport, New York Golden Eagles 8,275           1867 1976 1984 ECAC West SUNYAC
Bryant College Smithfield, Rhode Island Bulldogs 3,751           1863 1975 1980 Dropped Program
University at Buffalo Buffalo, New York Bulls 30,648           1846 1971 1984 ECAC West Dropped Program
Colby College Waterville, Maine Mules 1,838           1813 1964 1984 ECAC East NESCAC
University of Connecticut Storrs, Connecticut Huskies 32,027           1881 1964 1984 ECAC East Hockey East
State University of New York College at Cortland Cortland, New York Red Dragons 7,234           1868 1976 1984 ECAC West SUNYAC
Elmira College Elmira, New York Soaring Eagles 1,170           1855 1976 1984 ECAC West UCHC
Framingham State University Framingham, Massachusetts Rams 6,156           1839 1979 1982 ECAC 3 MASCAC
State University of New York at Geneseo Geneseo, New York Knights 5,585           1871 1976 1984 ECAC West SUNYAC
Hamilton College Clinton, New York Continentals 1,864           1793 1964 1984 ECAC West NESCAC
College of the Holy Cross Worcester, Massachusetts Crusaders 2,897      1843 1967 1984 ECAC East Atlantic Hockey
Ithaca College Ithaca, New York Bombers 6,969                1892 1967 1976 Dropped Program
Lehigh University Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Mountain Hawks 5,080           1865 1969 1971 ECAC 3 Dropped Program
University of Maine Orono, Maine Black Bears 11,222                1865 1977 1979 ECAC Hockey Hockey East
University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, Massachusetts Minutemen 27,269           1863 1964 1979 Dropped Program Hockey East
University of Massachusetts Boston Dorchester, Massachusetts Beacons 10,600           1894 1982 1984 ECAC East NEHC
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Massachusetts Engineers 4,512           1861 1964 1971 ECAC 3 Dropped Program
University of Lowell Lowell, Massachusetts Chiefs[a 5] 18,316                1894 1968 1983 ECAC Hockey Hockey East
Merrimack College North Andover, Massachusetts Warriors 3,653           1947 1964 1984 ECAC East Hockey East
Middlebury College Middlebury, Vermont Panthers 2,507           1800 1964 1984 ECAC East NESCAC
New England College Henniker, New Hampshire Pilgrims 1,460                     1946 1971 1984 ECAC East NEHC
University of New Hampshire Durham, New Hampshire Wildcats 14,761                1866 1964 1966 ECAC Hockey Hockey East
University of New Haven West Haven, Connecticut Chargers 4,800           1920 1967 1983 Dropped Program
Nichols College Dudley, Massachusetts Bison 1,459           1815 1967 1971 ECAC 3 CCC
North Adams State College North Adams, Massachusetts Mowhawks 1,891           1894 1975 1984 ECAC East Dropped Program
Norwich University Northfield, Vermont Cadets 2,000           1819 1964 1984 ECAC East NEHC
State University of New York at Oswego Oswego, New York Lakers 8,909           1861 1967 1984 ECAC West SUNYAC
State University of New York at Plattsburgh Plattsburgh, New York Cardinals 6,358           1889 1976 1984 ECAC West SUNYAC
State University of New York at Potsdam Potsdam, New York Bears 4,325           1816 1976 1984 ECAC West SUNYAC
Rochester Institute of Technology Henrietta, New York Tigers 16,842                1829 1980 1984 ECAC West Atlantic Hockey
Saint Anselm College Goffstown, New Hampshire Hawks 1,945           1889 1969 1984 ECAC East Northeast–10
Salem State University Salem, Massachusetts Vikings 10,125                1854 1967 1984 ECAC East MASCAC
Union College Schenectady, New York Dutchmen 2,200           1795 1975 1984 ECAC West ECAC Hockey
University of Vermont Burlington, Vermont Catamounts 11,999           1791 1964 1974 ECAC Hockey Hockey East
Westfield State University Westfield, Massachusetts Owls 5,166                1874 1978 1984 ECAC East MASCAC
Williams College Williamstown, Massachusetts Ephs 2,124           1793 1964 1984 ECAC East NESCAC
Worcester State University Worcester, Massachusetts Lancers 6,221           1874 1967 1971 ECAC 3 MASCAC

# enrollment in 2018
† as of 2018

  1. ^ Amherst's original, unofficial nickname for its teams, the Lord Jeffs, was retired in 2016 due to controversy over the propriety of honoring Lord Jeffrey Amherst.
  2. ^ Army's team was known as the Cadets while they played in ECAC 2.
  3. ^ Army played a partial Division II/III schedule from 1980 thru 1986.
  4. ^ Boston State merged with Massachusetts–Boston in 1982.
  5. ^ Massachusetts–Lowell, formerly Lowell Tech and Lowell University, changed their nickname from 'Terriers' to 'Chiefs' in 1971 and then to 'River Hawks' in 1994.

Membership timeline[edit]

Rochester Institute of TechnologyFramingham State UniversityWestfield State UniversityUniversity of MaineState University of New York at PotsdamState University of New York at PlattsburghState University of New York at GeneseoElmira CollegeState University of New York College at CortlandState University of New York at BrockportUnion CollegeMassachusetts College of Liberal ArtsBryant CollegeUnited States Military AcademyNew England CollegeUniversity at BuffaloBridgewater State UniversitySaint Anselm CollegeLehigh UniversityBabson CollegeUniversity of Massachusetts LowellUniversity of Massachusetts LowellSalem State UniversityState University of New York at OswegoCollege of the Holy CrossUniversity of New HavenIthaca CollegeWorcester State UniversityNichols CollegeAssumption College (Worcester)University of Massachusetts BostonBoston State CollegeWilliams CollegeNorwich UniversityMiddlebury CollegeMerrimack CollegeHamilton CollegeUniversity of ConnecticutColby CollegeBowdoin CollegeAmerican International CollegeUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstUniversity of VermontAmherst CollegeMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyUniversity of New Hampshire

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History of ECAC Hockey". College Hockey Historical Archives. Archived from the original on January 30, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  2. ^ "1964-65 NCAA - ECAC - Div. 2 Standings". Hockey DB. Retrieved November 22, 2018.