Nicole Haase

NCAA Hockey: Guide to the CHA Conference

College Hockey America (CHA) formed in 2002 with four teams. Mercyhurst is the only original member remaining.

CHA Tournament Champions
2003 Mercyhurst
2004 Mercyhurst
2005 Mercyhurst
2006 Mercyhurst
2007 Mercyhurst
2008 Mercyhurst
2009 Mercyhurst
2010 Mercyhurst
2011 Mercyhurst
2012 Robert Morris
2013 Mercyhurst
2014 RIT

All CHA games are available via livestream by EverSport.
Individual games can be purchased for $6.99 for 24 hour access, or a season pass can be purchased for $99.

CHA Women's Hockey Twitter

Lindenwood University

St. Charles, MO
Mascot: Lions
Rink: Lindenwood Ice Arena, capacity 1,000
Coach: Scott Spencer (2nd season)
2014-2015 Record: 10-21-2

Player(s) to watch: Goalie Nicole Hensley was on the roster for the last two Under-22 Series vs. Canada. She set an NCAA record when she made 90 saves in a 3-OT loss to Robert Morris in the 2013 CHA Tournament.

Lindenwood is one of the newest members of DI hockey, as they joined Division I for the 2011-2012 season.

As a club sport, Lindenwood won National Championships in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

LU Hockey on Twitter
LU Women's Hockey on Instagram

Snapchat: lu_hockey

Mercyhurst University

Erie, PA
Mascot: Lakers
Rink: Mercyhurst Ice Arena, capacity 1,500
Coach: Michael Sisti (17th season)
2014-2015 Record: 23-9-3
Frozen Four Appearances: 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Player(s) to watch: Emily Janiga and Jenna Dingeldein were selected as juniors in the inaugural NWHL by the Buffalo Beauts.

Mercyhurst is the first school ever to earn 10 consecutive berths in the NCAA tournament.

Mercyhurst Women's Hockey on Twitter

Penn State

State College, PA
Mascot: Nittany Lions
Rink: Pegula Ice Arena, capacity 5,782
Coach: Josh Brandwene (4th season)
2014-2015 Record: 17-16-4

Player(s) to watch: Goalie Celine Whitlinger held defending national champions Minnesota to just two goals this past Friday. She was invited to the USA Hockey Women's National Festival in August.

Penn State is one of the newest members of DI hockey, as they joined the CHA and Division I for the 2012-2013 season.

Penn State Women's Hockey on Twitter

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)

Rochester, NY
Mascot: Tigers
Rink: Gene Polisseni Center, capacity 4,300
Coach: Scott McDonald (10th season)
2014-2015 Record: 15-19-5
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 2015

Player(s) to watch: Junior Cassie Clayton missed a large part of last season due to injury, but made a splash when she returned late in the year.

The head coaching position at RIT, the Bruce B. Bates Women’s Hockey Coach, is the university's first endowed coaching position.

The Tigers won the DIII National Championship in 2012 and moved to Division I the following season.

RIT Women's Hockey on Twitter

Robert Morris University

Neville Township, PA
Mascot: Colonials
Rink: Island Sports Center, Capacity 1,100
Coach: Paul Colontino (5th season)
2014-2015 Record: 11-19-5

Player(s) to watch: Freshman Amber Rennie was named CHA Rookie of the Week last week and had three goals in the team's first three games.

Former Colonial Brianna McLaughlin was the first player to sign with the Buffalo Beauts in the NWHL.

RMU Women's Hockey on Twitter
RMU Women's Hockey on Instagram

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY
Mascot: Orange
Rink: Tennity Ice Skating Pavilion, capacity 350
Coach: Paul Flanagan (8th season)
2014-2015 Record: 11-15-10

Player(s) to watch: Nicole Ferrara sat all last season nursing a knee injury that ended her junior campaign in 2013-2014. She's been voted team captain. Melissa Piacentini led the team in goals with 18, while Stephanie Grossi notched 21 assists.

Syracuse has played in the CHA title game four of the last seven seasons.

SU Women's Hockey on Twitter


Mercyhurst has had a stranglehold on the CHA and there's not a lot of evidence to show that will change, but as Lindenwood and Penn State grow their programs, the CHA offers a parity across the board that no other conference has.

Last season, the CHA was granted an NCAA auto-bid, and that security of a post-season berth can be the kind of motivation a team needs to pick up their game.

Predicted finishes:
1. Mercyhurst
2. RIT
3. Syracuse
4. Lindenwood
5. Robert Morris
6. Penn State

Check out all of Nicole's 2015-16 NCAA previews:

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