Courtesy United Collegiate Hockey Conference
ROCHESTER, NY - The United Collegiate Hockey Conference will expand its women’s membership by an additional team in the 2019-20 season. UCHC Commissioner Chuck Mitrano announced that the conference membership has chosen to admit the upcoming women’s ice hockey program at Alvernia University into the conference. The announcement was made on Wednesday.
“We are excited to welcome Alvernia University to the UCHC,” UCHC Commissioner Chuck Mitrano said. “They are an ideal fit as an institution with a great academic background and commitment to its student-athletes. We are proud to continue to support the growth of women’s ice hockey and Alvernia has positioned itself for success.”
The Reading, Pennsylvania based institution is set to begin NCAA women’s hockey play in the Fall of 2019 following a one year period to construct the program from the ground up. Former Penn State head coach Josh Brandwene will head up the efforts of assembling the inaugural squad, and his staff also features former Elmira College star and 2015 NCAA Division III Player of the Year Ashley Ryan.
Alvernia makes an exemplary fit for the current UCHC footprint. The Golden Wolves are set to join many of their peers from their primary conference, the Middle Atlantic Conference, in the UCHC membership as well. Alvernia’s membership allows them to strengthen their existing relationships with those peer institutions, while also allowing them to round out a highly competitive schedule. It also allows them to compete for the regular season MAC championship in conjunction with their UCHC schedule.
After hiring an excellent coaching staff, conference affiliation was most critical to building a successful foundation for the success of our women’s ice hockey program,” Alvernia Director of Athletics Bill Stiles said. “The UCHC provides Alvernia with an opportunity to complete against peer institutions with similar principles, commitment to excellence, and comparable values and missions.”
The new relationship also allows the conference to add an exemplary institution, but also adds to its portfolio of impressive facilities throughout the conference. The Golden Wolves will play at the 7,083 seat Santander Arena in Reading, home of the ECHL’s Reading Royals. The impressive accomodations join five other arenas in the conference that have been in utilized for practice or games by an NHL or affiliated minor league team.
The sport is the 27th overall offering at Alvernia, and the Golden Wolves join the UCHC in what will be its third year of competition. For more information on Alvernia Women’s Hockey, visit http://www.auwolves.com.