MASCAC thaws freeze on men’s ice hockey
The Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference again will sponsor men’s ice hockey, following Westfield State’s decision to reinstate the sport.
The conference, which previously sponsored the sport from 1971 to 2003, also will pick up two affiliate members for the 2009-10 season, making it eligible for automatic qualification into the Division III Men’s Ice Hockey Championships beginning with the 2011-12 season.
Westfield State is reinstating its program 20 years after discontinuing the sport, and rejoins Fitchburg State, Framingham State, Salem State and Worcester State -- all of which currently are competing in the Eastern College Athletic Conference -- as MASCAC programs. They will be joined by affiliate members Massachusetts-Dartmouth and Plymouth State.
“UMass-Dartmouth and Plymouth State University will be welcomed additions to our conference,” said Commissioner Angela Baumann. “We look forward to the opportunities this new league will provide to our member institutions and men’s ice hockey student-athletes.”
Westfield State, which dropped men’s ice hockey for budgetary reasons, reinstated the program with a fund-raising effort led by such alumni of the school as Peter Laviolette, head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes and coach of the 2006 U.S. Olympic men’s ice hockey team. It will open varsity play November 8 against Franklin Pierce.
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