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From a talent perspective, it's generally below DIII, as these teams basically play for nothing, meaning NCAA. You see a lot of kids go to these team who decide not to age out and try for a better DIII option
league is the lowest level in ncaa (mascac is a close 2nd).
First off, they don't play in the NEHC and its more than 4 teams. Southern NH, Assumption, ST A's, St Mikes, Stonehill and Franklin Peirce play in the NE 10. Post came in this year.
St A's and St Mikes, are still in the NEHC for this year but are forced out next year.
Unfortunately these programs are stuck in D2 and cant play for an NCAA championship and cant move to D3 without all of their programs moving to D3. Some of these programs, I assume, have strong basketball, baseball, and football programs and want to stay at the D2 level. I think the NCAA is foolish for not allowing them to fully play D3 in hockey only. This would be the reverse of a school like Union that is D3 in all sports except hockey.
These schools do not give athletic money for hockey per an agreement to allow them to play D3 programs even though they cant go to a national championship.
"St A's and St Mikes, are still in the NEHC for this year but are forced out next year." Where are they going?
So their deal is they're stuck in D-2 because of their other sports are D-2 and they can't just move down for hockey That's too bad. Being D-2 is like a no man's land in hockey.
I can only assume they will join the NE 10 on a full time basis. Right now they play league games in the NEHC but cant participate in the playoffs.
The NEHC made the decision to move on because of that. They are back to 8 teams with adding Hobart for next year and then they go to 10 with Johnson and Wales and Suffolk the year after.
With only 7 schools in D2 hockey it is like being in limbo...