Pittsburgh Hockey Digest

ACHA

Slippery Rock suspends men’s hockey, future of program uncertain

Christian Miller (58) fires a shot during a game against West Virginia at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. -- ED MAJOR II (PHD FILE PHOTO)

Slippery Rock University has suspended the school’s ACHA Men’s Division 1 hockey program for a period of four years, pending appeals, Pittsburgh Hockey Digest learned Monday. Head Coach Dave Grimm confirmed the news to Ed Major via text message.

“There has been an initial ruling of a four year suspension for the program. There are still appeals in process so it’s not set in stone by any means at this point but that has been the initial ruling,” Grimm stated. “The office of student conduct made [the initial ruling]. There was an anonymous complaint filed that lead to it.” Grimm did not offer any information as to who was involved or what the complaint consisted of.

Leigh Ann Gilmore, director of the Office of Student Conduct, confirmed that the case “is still processing” and was unable to share any information.

The Slippery Rock Pride were the WPCHA North Division Champions for the 2001-02 season. — (Courtesy of Slippery Rock Hockey)

The team, established in 1971, was a founding member of the Western Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Hockey Association (WPIHA). Currently the College Hockey East, the WPIHA became the Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Hockey Association (WPCHA) in 1976.

The team was the North Division champion of the WPCHA in 2002 and won the CHE North Division and Kaleina Cup in 2003 before becoming members of the Eastern Collegiate Hockey League (ECHL) to play at the Division 1 level. In 2006, Slippery Rock joined Pitt, Duquesne, IUP, West Virginia, Washington & Jefferson College, and Youngstown State to form the College Hockey Mid-America (CHMA) conference to ease travel burdens and costs.

The program had success during its membership in the CHMA. After winning the regular season championship in 2010, the Pride declined their invitation to the ACHA National Tournament; they were not replaced by another team. They accepted the invitation the following year after winning both the regular season and conference championships in 2011. The Pride were the No. 16 seed, the lowest until the ACHA expanded the tournament to 20 teams the following season. They fell that year to No. 1 Lindenwood, but won a 15th place consolation game against No. 15 Rutgers.

This is an ongoing situation and this story will be updated as more details become available.

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