New Trine D-III men’s, women’s teams to join NCHA conferences for 2017-18 season

Trine University’s hockey teams have been accepted as members of the NCHA.

The Thunder men’s and women’s NCAA Division III hockey programs will compete in the conference starting with the 2017-18 season — the inaugural campaign for both teams.

The addition of the Thunder women’s program will give the NCHA a membership of 10 teams, with Aurora and Northland also set to add women’s teams to the conference. Trine’s men’s team will give the conference 12 members.

“Joining the NCHA provides the perfect opportunity for our student-athletes to have a positive experience in a growing conference,” said Matt Land, assistant vice president of athletics at Trine University, in a statement. “We are excited about the opportunities that joining the NCHA will provide for the student-athletes in our hockey programs both on and off the ice.”

“As we launch and build our new men’s and women’s programs, we look forward to playing in a conference with competition that will test us, knowing it will help our Thunder teams develop and grow as we seek to make the name Trine University synonymous with quality collegiate hockey,” added Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., Trine president.

Trine previously named Tom Hofman and Alex Todd as head coaches for its NCAA Division III hockey teams. Hofman will head the women’s team, while Todd will lead the men’s program.

Construction will begin this summer on the $7.2 million, 1,000-seat Thunder Ice Arena, which will house both programs.