The Sin Bin

September 23, 2009 6:56 PM

Don't forget UAH: UAH program standing alone

As the college hockey season moves forward, I would urge college hockey fans not to forget about UAH program and their status in college hockey world, they still need a home. There are 58 teams in division one hockey and we can't afford to lose any teams. I don't think anyone wants to go back to the 12 team NCAA tourneys.

Future without league affiliation poses big hurdles

As Danton Cole enters his third season as coach of the Alabama-Huntsville hockey team, he faces a formidable task: Trying to preserve the 31-year-old program.

After being snubbed by the Central Collegiate Hockey Association last month and with College Hockey America in its final season, the Chargers' existence is tenuous. After this season, they would be the lone independent team among the 60-plus NCAA Division I programs.

"It's what it is right now," Cole said of the CCHA situation. "They've decided to move forward without us.

"But we've put together a good independent schedule. It'll be interesting."

With five conferences left after the upcoming season (CCHA, Western Collegiate Hockey Association, Hockey East, Atlantic Hockey and ECAC), scheduling for the next four years is going to be a chore. Teams are locked into their league schedules from January-March, followed by conference tournaments and the NCAAs.

Cole was away for two weeks coaching a U.S. National Select team in Eastern Europe when the CCHA rejected UAH's bid to join.

"I haven't had a chance to catch my breath," he said. "But that's the nature of this job. Coach (Chris) Luongo and Coach (John) McCabe have been hustling and doing a ton of work." []

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