Report: Holy Cross to replace Notre Dame in Hockey East?

Could Holy Cross soon be celebrating all their home games at the DCU Center in Worcester? (photo: Melissa Wade).

UPDATE (Sept. 15): Citing sources with knowledge of the situation, USCHO has learned that Hockey East has not approached Holy Cross and Holy Cross has not applied for membership in Hockey East.

The original story from Sept. 14 is below:

According to the Worcester Telegram, citing multiple sources, Holy Cross has been approached about replacing Notre Dame in Hockey East when the Fighting Irish leave after the 2016-17 season.

That move potentially means the Crusaders would play their home games at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass., sharing the building with the new Worcester Railers of the ECHL that begin play with the 2017-18 season.

Former Michigan Tech head coach Jamie Russell is the Railers’ coach and general manager.

“We became aware of it (Monday),” said ECHL commissioner Brian McKenna in the Telegram report. “And we’re very concerned about it. Beyond that, we don’t care to comment further.”

Holy Cross athletic director Nathan Pine and Railers owner Cliff Rucker would not comment to the Telegram about Holy Cross’ possible moves.

DCU Center general manager Sandy Dunn referred all inquiries to Holy Cross.

This year, Holy Cross plays Providence on Oct. 15 and Boston College on Oct. 22 – both at the DCU Center.

Holy Cross currently plays in Atlantic Hockey, using the Hart Center as home ice. That rink seats 1,600 and the minimum capacity for Hockey East is 4,000. A move to Hockey East would also require Holy Cross to elevate its Division III women’s program, which currently plays in the NEHC.

Worcester city manager Edward Augustus did not return calls from the Telegram seeking comment. Hockey East officials also had no comment for the Telegram.