D-1 Men’s Ice Hockey just added a new member to the mix with Long Island University, joining NCAA competition in the 2020-21 season. Gonna be honest, this was not the school I thought was going to add a D1 program. However, it seems like an idea that could pay off, especially since the school is right by New York City and could be an attractive place for local players and outsiders. Lists like this have been done before, yea I’ll credit you Grinelli. However, I think my list is a bit better for the game of college hawkey.
— LIU Athletics (@LIUAthletics) April 30, 2020
Honorable Mention: Northwestern, Syracuse, Washington, and Cal/Stanford.
The Ivy League already boasts one of the best hockey conferences the NCAA has to offer, so the Quakers have no issues of joining a conference or finding teams to play. UPenn would be the 7th team to join the ice for the Ivy League, the only remaining school without a varsity hockey team is Columbia. The Quakers have the Class of 1923 Arena to play in, which is the perfect college hockey rink (2,500 capacity). Plus, how hard is it to recruit as an Ivy League School in a bustling city like Philadelphia?
4. Rhode Island
I’m stunned URI doesn’t have a team already, or have even announced that they plan on investing in a D1 program like the University of Illinois did in 2018. The Rams consistently have one of the top club teams in the nation, have a 2,5000 seat rink on campus that is called the Boss Ice Rink. That’s the best arena name ever. They can easily slide into Hockey East, where newcomers like UConn have found success early. Hopefully if the Rams add a team, they could do the same.
I really wanted to take USC, but Grinelli from Barstool had them in his list. So I took the next best thing, their rival. Imagine flipping through the sports guide late night and seeing a Pac-12 hockey game between USC and UCLA? It would be incredible.
Another Pac-12 school is getting a program, and who wouldn’t want to play here? It’s settled right by the mountains, is a good school, and has known reputation of being a great place to party. Go ‘Buffs, baby.
No brainer #1. Hockey has been becoming more and more popular in Texas, and nothing is bigger in Texas than the Longhorns. Imagine seeing Matthew McConnaughey behind the glass at a UT ice hockey game? He’d have that barn rockin’. Not sure if they could join a conference, but they can share the arena with the Texas Stars of the AHL, and be an independent. Hook ’em.
Plenty of schools could’ve made the list, but these are top picks. Leave a comment if you think I missed a potential powerhouse in the making.