Women's ice hockey will become the 21st sport in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) beginning with the 2023-24 season.
In addition, SUNY Canton will join the SUNYAC as an associate member in the sport of men's ice hockey starting in 2024-25, bringing the total number of programs to 10 in the conference.
The presidents of the SUNYAC approved both measures on Monday, May 8, following recommendations by the conference's directors of athletics.
The SUNYAC will add women's ice hockey by absorbing the Northeast Women's Ice Hockey League which has operated as a single-sport NCAA Division III conference since 2017-18. The league evolved from the former ECAC West conference.
The NEWHL will cease operations on June 30 with the SUNYAC officially taking the reins on July 1.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for the SUNYAC and for our student-athletes to operate under the SUNYAC brand and receive the recognition and services that one of the premier Division III conferences in the NCAA can provide," Tom DiCamillo, commissioner of the SUNYAC, said. DiCamillo organized the NEWHL and served as its commissioner since its inception.
The NEWHL consists of seven SUNY institutions, including five core members of the SUNYAC – Buffalo State, Cortland, Oswego, Plattsburgh and Potsdam. Canton and Morrisville will become associate members of the SUNYAC in the sport of women's ice hockey. The NEWHL conference schedule, which has been approved through 2026-27, will remain as planned as part of the SUNYAC.
Canton will join the SUNYAC in men's ice hockey beginning with the 2024-25 campaign. The conference will grow to 10 teams which will allow for a better scheduling model than the current nine-team format.
The SUNYAC institutions sponsoring men's ice hockey include eight full conference members (Brockport, Buffalo State, Cortland, Fredonia, Geneseo, Oswego, Plattsburgh, Potsdam) and one associate member (Morrisville).