St. Scholastica men’s, women’s hockey teams moving from NCHA to MIAC, effective ’21-22 season

St. Scholastica announced Wednesday that the school’s men’s and women’s hockey programs will be moving from the NCHA to the MIAC, beginning with the 2021-22 season.”We were approached recently by MIAC leadership about the possibility of membership,” said St. Scholastica president Barbara McDonald in a news release. “We did an extensive internal assessment on what the move would mean for not only our athletics department and student-athletes, but the college as a whole. This is a very good fit with our institutional identity, and with the aspirations of Saints coaches, student-athletes and fans. We look forward to joining our Minnesota private college peers in the MIAC.”The Saints will be the 13th full-time member of the MIAC in 2021, joining other Minnesota colleges Augsburg, Bethel, Carleton, Concordia, Gustavus Adolphus, Hamline, Macalester, Saint Benedict (women only), St. Catherine (women only), Saint John’s (men only), Saint Mary’s and St. Olaf.”While our pursuit of athletic excellence is in line with the core values of the MIAC, we have a strong commitment to enhancing various areas for competitive success as we prepare for the transition,” said St. Scholastica director of athletics Franco Bari. “In addition, we have an extremely experienced and dedicated staff who are heavily invested in our programs and while this move will provide us with a different type of challenge, I am confident in our ability to rise to the occasion.”The move to the MIAC will end the membership in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) for 18 of CSS’ varsity programs at the conclusion of the 2020-21 academic year.With the hockey programs moving to the MIAC, it will mark the first time the programs have been under the same conference affiliation as the rest of the athletics department.The men’s hockey program has been part of the new NCHA since the beginning of the 2013-14 season and was part of the original NCHA from 1983 to 1991 and 1994 to 2013.The women’s hockey program has been part of the NCHA since it moved to varsity status in 2010. The men’s program has appeared in two NCHA championship games, while the women’s program has appeared in the NCHA title game each of the last two seasons.”Our hockey programs clearly have a deep history with the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association,” said Bari. “While we truly appreciate our experience as members of NCHA, we look forward to the opportunity of aligning our hockey programs with the other CSS sports competing in the MIAC.”