The University of Connecticut announced on Thursday that it has accepted Hockey East's invitation to join the league, and will begin play in 2014-15. It's all official and everything over at HockeyEastOnline.com; that is, after you navigate past the Congratulations to the 2012 National Champions splash page.
Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna hyperbole is go.
"This is one of the most historic and significant days in the history of our conference. We have enjoyed a terrific relationship with the University of Connecticut for more than a decade through our involvement with its women's hockey program. Today we start a new chapter in this relationship and we couldn't be more pleased.
"Warde Manuel and his staff did a commendable job in preparing for this moment and I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the role played by the state's biggest hockey fan, Governor Dan Malloy. Our directors have always said that we would welcome growth through any institution that brings value to our conference. No other school was better positioned to do this than the University of Connecticut."
The details, in bullet form:
-- UConn will compete in Atlantic Hockey in 2012-13 and 2013-14, leaving Hockey East with only 11 programs for the 2013-14 season (after Notre Dame joins the fold).
-- The UConn men's team will play all of their home Hockey East games at the XL Center in downtown Hartford to comply with Hockey East league standards. Awful. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy believes that playing Huskies men's hockey games at the XL Center will "further enhance the quality of life in downtown Hartford." A hopeless endeavor.
-- The Huskies' non-conference games will be played on campus at Freitas Ice Forum. Hopefully the school invests in Freitas to get the rink up to HEA standards so BC isn't playing at the HCC for the next decade.
-- UConn will go from zero to 18 scholarships in men's ice hockey and will add women's scholarships in other sports to complete with Title IX.
-- BC's average Hockey East win total just increased by 2 for the next decade plus.
A "Welcome To Hockey East" celebration and press conference will be held tomorrow at 12 noon in the atrium of the XL Center in Hartford. Let's give our frenemies down in Storrs a warm and heartfelt welcome to Hockey East!