Rich Ensor, commissioner of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, announced Monday that Army will become the 11th member of the MAAC Hockey League, effective with the 2000-2001 season.
“I’m delighted to be here today to share the exciting news,” said Rick Greenspan, athletic director at Army. “Our joining of the league is a result of review our hockey program and a magnificent opportunity presented to us by Rich Ensor.”
Army, which currently is a member of College Hockey America, is a perfect geographic fit for the MAAC. Situated in West Point, N.Y., it is within a three-hour drive of five of the other ten schools, and is less than an hour from current MAAC member Iona.
The move will immediately call for the league to revise the already drawn-up schedule for the 2000-2001 season. According to Ensor, there is a conference call scheduled for this Friday with each school to discuss the schedule moving forward. He noted that it is currently proposed for each team to play 26 league games — with three games against six of the teams in the league, and two games against the other four.
In addition to play in a geographically-suitable league, the MAAC is also attractive to Army because of two post-season possibilities. Army’s home facility, Tate Rink, with a capacity of 2,746, will be the largest in the league and a probable target to host the MAAC championships in the near future. On top of that, an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament may be awarded to the MAAC as soon as next season, and with Army’s strong record against MAAC teams in the past, they are a solid candidate for such a bid.