April 28, 2015

Harding moves forward as Southern Maine coach

More news about: Southern Maine

Compiled by D3hockey.com Staff

The University of Southern Maine conducted a national search for its next men's head coach, but the Gorham, Maine based university did not have to look far at all to fill the vacancy.

Ed Harding has officially taken the reins at USM. 
Photo: Southern Maine Athletics 

Ed Harding, who guided the Huskies as interim head coach for the majority of this season, will have the interim tag removed to become the team's permanent head coach, the school announced today. He will become the seventh head coach in the program's near thirty year history. 

Harding ascends to the position after a sixteen game stint with the squad to close out the 2014-2015 season. He steered the club to a 5-10-1 record in that span after the departure of longtime head coach Jeff Beaney. He was previously an assistant under Beaney from 1993 to 1996, and played for the Huskies from 1985 to 1988. His playing career later landed him in the school's athletic hall of fame, an honor he received this fall.

"I'm honored, and feel fortunate, to be selected to move the men's ice hockey program into a new era," Harding said.  "Obviously, this program is near and dear to my heart as a former player who helped restart the program in 1985."

Beyond his experience at Southern Maine, Harding has an immense coaching background. Career highlights include a six year run with the QMJHL's Lewiston MAINEiacs, including a two year stint as head coach and general manager from 2007-2009, and a season as an assistant coach with the AHL's Portland Pirates. Most recently, Beaney was the head coach at North Yarmouth Academy during the 2010-11 season. Beaney also spent a season in the pro ranks with the Maine Mariners and Johnstown Chiefs organizations during the 1988-89 campaign.

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April 21, 2015

Lebanon Valley Men to become 8th ECAC West member

More news about: Lebanon Valley

Compiled by D3hockey.com Staff

DANBURY, Conn.-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) President and CEO Dr. Kevin T. McGinniss has announced the acceptance of Lebanon Valley College into the ECAC Men's West Ice Hockey League, beginning in the 2016-17 academic year. The Flying Dutchmen are elevating their Ice Hockey Program from the ACHA Division I level, where they competed for the last five seasons, to NCAA Division III, beginning in 2016-17.

"We are thrilled to welcome Lebanon Valley into the ECAC Men's West Hockey League," said McGinniss. "Lebanon Valley has been a premier member of the ECAC for years and we are now proud to have them as the eighth team in ECAC Men's West."

The addition of Lebanon Valley gives the ECAC Men's West a total of eight teams. The Flying Dutchmen will join current league members, Hobart College, Neumann University, Nazareth College, Elmira College, Utica College, Stevenson University and Manhattanville College.

Stevenson was the most recent program to join the league in March, making the league eligible for an automatic qualification into the NCAA Tournament. ECAC Men's West could receive an automatic qualification for its league champion as early as the 2018-19 season.

"We look forward to again being part of one of the nation's best hockey leagues in the ECAC West," said Lebanon Valley Athletic Director Rick Beard, "Lebanon Valley has enjoyed a long-standing and beneficial relationship with the ECAC in all of our sports, and we are pleased to continue that with men's ice hockey."

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April 6, 2015

Darwitz hired to lead Hamline women

Compiled by D3hockey.com Staff

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Natalie Darwitz, three-time Olympic medalist and one of the best known names in women’s hockey, has agreed to become the head women’s hockey coach at Hamline University. She replaces Steve DeBus, who led the Pipers for the past five seasons and tendered his resignation from the post last month.

Photo: Hamline University Athletics

"Characteristics such as drive, passion, and work ethic that ultimately made Natalie one of the bestwomen's hockey players in the world, are the same characteristics Natalie has as coach,” said Hamline University Athletics Director Jason Verdugo. 

”We are so fortunate to have someone of her caliber as our new head coach. I envision her making a significant impact on Hamline University well beyond athletics."

Darwitz first burst on the Minnesota scene as seventh grader, leading Eagan High School to the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) Girls’ State Hockey Tournament. She went on to score 487 points in 102 games there and still holds four tournament records.

She was a three-time All-American at the University of Minnesota and is the school’s all-ti me leader in points scored with 246. She also has had considerable success on the world stage, representing the United States in three Olympics, eight World Tournaments, and ten 4 Nations Cup events. She has been a captain of several of those teams, a member of five gold-medal winning teams and, in 2005, was named Women's Player of the year by USA Hockey.

She entered the coaching world as an assistant to her father Scott at her prep alma mater. She went on to be an assistant at the University of Minnesota for two seasons before taking the head job at Lakeville South four years ago. This year, she guided the Cougars to a 24-6-1 record and a first-ever berth in the MSHSL Class AA Girls’ Hockey Tournament.

 “I am extremely excited and honored for the opportunity to join Hamline University,” Darwitz said. “I look forward to working with the student-athletes and helping the women's hockey program grow and excel on and off the ice.”

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