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Women's ice hockey will compete in the Little East Conference in 2025-2026

Women's ice hockey will compete in the Little East Conference in 2025-2026


PROVIDENCE, RI – Pamela S. Samuelson, commissioner of the Little East Conference (LEC), has announced that the Norwich University women's ice hockey program will join the league as an affiliate member for the LEC's inaugural season in 2025-2026. The addition of the Cadets' legendary program expands the LEC's future women's ice hockey membership to eight institutions.

“On behalf of the presidents and athletic directors of the Little East Conference, I am pleased to welcome Norwich University women's ice hockey as an affiliate member for our inaugural season,” said Samuelson. “Their addition will allow for the continuation of the established New England Hockey Conference rivalry without interruption, and enhances the profile of what we expect will be a highly competitive sport for the LEC.”

“We are excited to expand our relationship with the Little East Conference by adding our women's ice hockey program for the LEC's inaugural season,” said Ed Hockenbury, Norwich athletic director. “We are very pleased to have found a home for both our men's and women's programs for years to come. The establishment of Little East women's ice hockey is an exciting development for Division III and is a great fit for Norwich. It provides us with an ideal geographical location, continues some of our long-standing traditional rivalries and generates some attractive new fixtures in a league that will be highly competitive. We are very proud of our history of success in women's hockey and look forward to contributing to the LEC. I am off to a great start and would like to thank Pam Samuelson, as well as the chancellors, presidents and athletic directors of the LEC for welcoming us in the Little East.

Samuelson announced in February that the LEC would begin sponsoring women's ice hockey in 2025-2026 with a combination of primary and affiliate programs consisting of current ice hockey playing members from the University of Massachusetts Boston, Plymouth State University, University of Southern Maine and Vermont State University. Castleton, in addition to a new varsity program at Keene State College and New England College as an affiliate member. Western Connecticut State University has since announced the addition of women's ice hockey as a varsity program that would compete in the LEC in 2026-2027.

The addition of men's and women's ice hockey in 2025-2026 will increase LEC Championship sponsorship to 23 sports, making the Little East the second-largest Division III conference in New England in terms of championship offerings.

About the Little East Conference

The Little East Conference (LEC) was founded in 1986 when six public institutions came together to create a single sport athletics conference, and has grown into what is now New England's premier athletics conference for public institutions in NCAA Division III. The LEC will soon include 23 championship sports, sponsoring quality competition for our student-athletes while following the Division III mission of “passion, responsibility, sportsmanship and citizenship.”

The Little East consists of nine primary institutions covering all six New England states, Eastern Connecticut State University, Keene State College (NH), UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth, Plymouth State University (NH), Rhode Island College, University of Southern Maine , Vermont State University Castleton and Western Connecticut State University.

About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates students and adults of traditional age in a corps of cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a wide selection of traditional and distance learning programs, culminating in baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the United States Army and is the oldest private military university in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC).




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