Division I, here we come

Follow RITNEWS on Twitter

Ken Huth

Members of the women’s hockey team celebrate after winning the Division III national championship.

The women’s hockey team this season will play against Ivy League schools such as Brown, Yale and Princeton universities and national powers such as Syracuse University, Penn State and Ohio State.

That’s because the team, which won the Division III national championship in March, is now Division I and part of College Hockey America for the 2012-2013 season.

“This is a big step up in competition,” says Head Coach Scott McDonald, who in six seasons behind the bench has a 135-22-10 record. His .838 winning percentage is the best all-time at the Division III level. “Every game will be a challenge, but we are looking forward to developing new rivalries and seeing what we are capable of at the highest level.”

RIT will be eligible for College Hockey America’s post-season play but will not participate in NCAA post-season play until the 2014-2015 season because of NCAA regulations.

Since women’s hockey became an official NCAA championship sport in 2001, RIT has become a national power, appearing in the NCAA Tournament three times (2007, 2011, 2012), while hosting the last two NCAA Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Championships. Sixteen Tigers have earned AHCA All-American honors during that span.

This season, the team will play 34 regular season games and one exhibition contest.