Division III hockey jumps to DII

Division III team will become the second NIU hockey team to move to the American Collegiate Hockey Association.

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Editor

DeKALB — NIU Hockey announced on Dec. 10 that its Division III hockey team will be joining the Northern Collegiate Hockey League of the American Collegiate Hockey Association beginning in the 2022-2023 season.

The Huskies will be joining the Orange Division of the NCHL as its sixth member.

“When we were presented the chance to join the NCHL, it was a no-brainer on our end,” NIU Hockey General Manager JC Weems said in an announcement on Dec. 10. “We can’t wait as a program to jump to this next level and be competitive from the start.”

NIU Hockey currently has two teams within its program, one presently competing at the Division I level and the other in Division III. Its Division I team was originally promoted from Division II during the 2019-2020 season.

After having recently brought the DII team up a division, Weems sought to elevate the DIII team in similar fashion in an effort to expand the program.

“With the move to DI, we knew our sights were set on also moving to the DII level to help with recruiting and to continue the goal of improving the program,” Weems said. “This is an exciting step for the NIU Hockey program as we now have a chance to compete in a great Division II league.”

The DIII team has competed in the Mid-American Collegiate Hockey Association since the 2012-2013 season. The Huskies have accumulated three consecutive Bronze Championship titles during their tenure in the MACHA.

The 6-14 DIII Huskies will return to action on Jan. 7 when they travel to Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva to take on the Aurora University Spartans.