ECAC Hockey has played the role of both a leader and pioneer for
nearly three decades that NCAA Division I women's hockey has been
Home to the premier Division I league in the nation, ECAC Hockey boasts a history that gleams with accomplishments. From individual honors to contributions on the international stage, the league and its players and coaches have set a high standard for excellence in the game. League athletes have earned All-America honors 67 times, claimed 32 Olympic Gold Medals, and have won the Patty Kazmaier Award nine out of the 15 years it has existed as the designation of the nation's top player.
Membership in ECAC Hockey has changed to meet the needs of the exploding collegiate sport as 24 teams have called ECAC Hockey home since the first championship was contested in 1984. The league's current roster of teams includes some of the most storied programs in the nation: Brown, Clarkson, Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Quinnipiac, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Union and Yale.
Brown holds the distinction of being the oldest women's hockey program in the nation. The first Bears squad took to the ice in the fall of 1963 and the program has remained a leader ever since. Brown has produced seven Olympians, placing five on the 2005-06 National Team roster for the XX Winter Games, amassed 458 wins in 48 seasons, and has twice represented the ECAC Hockey in national title games. Most of those victories have been under the watch of coach Digit Murphy, who posted a 318-244-57 record during 22 seasons. The Bears have advanced to the national championship tournament four times, most recently facing Minnesota-Duluth in the championship game of the 2002 NCAA Women's Frozen Four. In August of 2011, Amy Bourbeau became the third head coach in Brown's 48-year women's hockey history. She led the Bears to an 8-16-7 mark last season, which was the team’s best record since the 2006-07 campaign.
This season marks Clarkson's seventh year in the league. The 2003-04 season was the inaugural year of women's ice hockey at Clarkson. Under the tutelage of head coach Rick Seeley, the Golden Knights earned a spot in the league's playoffs in their ECAC Hockey debut, finishing the regular-season slate in eighth place. April 8, 2008, Clarkson University Women's Hockey ushered in a new era with the appointment of Shannon and Matt Desrosiers as the new co-head coaches of the Golden Knights Women’s Hockey team. The first four seasons for the co-head coaches has been a success as the Desrosiers have guided the Green and Gold to a 75-53-22 record.
Colgate joined the Division I league in 2001-02. The Raiders begin the current campaign under head coach Scott Wiley, who was honored as the 2003-04 Coach of the Year in just his second season behind the bench. Wiley resigned from his position as head coach during March, 2012. During his 10 seasons as the head coach of the Raiders Wiley recorded an overall record of 137-174-34, including a 19-14-3 mark during the 2008-09 season, the 19 wins are a program record.
Cornell also boasts a storied history after beginning its program in 1971. Since that time, the Big Red has accumulated 454 victories in 40 seasons. Big Red alum and head coach Doug Derraugh will enter his eighth season behind the bench in the upcoming 2012-13 season. Taking a program that won just four games in the season prior to his arrival, Derraugh guided the Big Red to the national title game in his fifth season and back-to-back-to-back NCAA Frozen Four appearances in 2010, 2011 and 2012, completely turning around the culture of the women’s hockey program at Cornell. Over the last three seasons the Big Red sported an overall record of 92-17-7 winning three consecutive ECAC Hockey regular-season titles and two of the last three postseason league tournament titles.
Dartmouth has grown into one of the nation's most consistently impressive programs surpassing the 450-win plateau in 2011-12. Since 1979-80 Dartmouth has failed to reach the 10-win mark just one time. After nine seasons as head coach, Mark Hudak has coached two All-Americans, an ECAC Hockey Player and Rookie of the Year, along with two first team All-ECAC selections, an ECAC Hockey Best Defensive Forward, and ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Year. He also has tutored four U.S. and Canadian National Team members and those four have combined for seven appearances at the last three Winter Olympics.
Harvard has been one of the elite programs in both in the league and nation since its rise to prominence in 1981-82, when the fourth-year varsity program posted a 15-6 record and won its first Beanpot Tournament. Current coach, Katey Stone, began in 1994, and has since guided the Crimson to some of its greatest moments, including a 33-1 record along with ECAC Hockey and AWCHA championship titles in 1999, seven NCAA Tournament appearances, and NCAA Frozen Four appearances in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005. The Crimson won ten ECAC Hockey League championship titles with their last coming in 2009. Stone has became the winningest coach in the history of Division I women’s hockey, amassing 378 victories over the course of her storied career. To date, the Harvard program has produced six Patty Kazmaier Award winners, including 2008 recipient Sarah Vaillancourt.
Princeton has sponsored women's hockey since 1979, and in that time the Tigers have participated in the ECAC Hockey tournament 14 times. The program's best finish came in 2006, when the Tigers won a school-record 21 games and advanced to the league semifinals. Jeff Kampersal has spent 16 seasons at the helm of the Princeton women's hockey team leading it to an additional two top-three ECAC Hockey finishes and three 20-win seasons. The Orange and Black have also had a pair of top-10 candidates for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, which was named after the 1986 Princeton graduate who died of a rare blood disease in 1990.
During the 2011-12 season Quinnipiac completed its eighth year of competition in ECAC Hockey. The Bobcats are led by head coach Rick Seeley, who has helped establish Quinnipiac as an up-and-coming program on the Division I map. In just four years, Seeley has transformed a team that, in his first season, won just three games, into an ECAC Hockey powerhouse prepared to annually compete for league and national championships. During the 2010-11 campaign the Bobcats once again set a program record for wins, advanced to the ECAC Hockey Semifinals for the first time, and garnered the team’s first-ever conference player of the year award. Quinnipiac followed up the performance with a 19-win season and postseason tournament semifinal berth in 2011-12. The Bobcats play their their home games in a state-of-the-art facility -- Highpoint Solutions Arena - within the the TD Bank Sports Center.
Rensselaer enters its seventh season as a full-fledged member of ECAC Hockey. The Engineers are led by head coach John Burke, who has accumulated a record of 137-122-32 in Troy, NY. Burke led Rensselaer to its most successful Division I season in 2008-09 as the Engineers finished as the conference’s runner-up at the league tournament after defeating Princeton in the quarterfinals and beating Harvard in the semifinals with a 3-2 overtime victory to advance to its first championship appearance. RPI has competed in the ECAC Hockey postseason tournament four of the last six years.
St. Lawrence has had intercollegiate hockey since 1979. From 1979 through 1992, the Saints competed at the Division III level, garnering three conference championship titles in the early 1990s. In 1993-94, the Saints joined the Division I women's league and made the playoffs in 1995. Three seasons later, 1997-98, the Saints officially became a Division I program. In 2001, St. Lawrence recorded the first win in the first-ever NCAA Women's Frozen Four, and advanced to the national championship game. The Saints repeated their visit to the NCAAs in 2004, 2005, 2006 and again in 2007, earning regional wins the past two seasons in the expanded bracket. In 2012 head coach Chris Wells guided the Saints to a 24-10-4 overall record, the program's first ECAC Hockey tournament title and a bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Saints went on an 18-2-1 stretch from December 1 to March 3, which culminated in a 3-1 win over No. 3 Cornell and the ECAC Hockey title. Through four seasons behind the Saints' bench, Wells has compiled a record of 80-53-16 and two NCAA appearances.
The 2012-13 season will be Union’s ninth as a member of the league under head coach Claudia Asano Barcomb. Barcomb, who was named Head Coach on April 23, 2007, served as an assistant coach at Harvard University for five seasons before she was named the third head coach in Union Women’s Ice Hockey history. Since she arrived on Union’s campus, she has coached former goalie Lundy Day to become the program’s All-Time Saves Leader. Day was also selected Third Team All-ECAC Hockey, as well as nominated for the prestigious Patty Kazmaier Award in 2009. This was the first nomination in Barcomb’s tenure and in school history, as well. Barcomb’s teams have steadily improved their Special Teams skills.
Yale welcomed a new era into women’s hockey on July 28, 2010, as Joakim Flygh, who had been to the NCAA Tournament in five of the previous six seasons as an assistant coach at Harvard and Minnesota-Duluth, was named head women’s ice hockey coach. In two seasons Flygh has guided the Bulldogs to an overall record of 10-44-4. In 2012 Bulldogs senior Aleca Hughes, whose efforts to help save lives have been inspired by her teammate Mandi Schwartz '10 (1988-2011), was named the winner of the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup, Sarah Devens Award, and BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award. Off the ice the Bulldogs spearheaded four blood marrow drives at Yale so far have adding more than 3,000 potential donors to the Be The Match Registry for patients with life-threatening illnesses, and located at least six genetic matches who made marrow donations. Hughes also started the team's annual "White Out for Mandi" fundraiser game. This past year's "White Out" raised more than $25,000 for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation, the charity that Hughes started last year.