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League History

The DVCHC and Women's Hockey History

Women's ice hockey stands as one of the most fast-paced and enthralling games in female athletics. 

The earliest known photograph of women playing hockey dates back to 1890 and includes the daughter of Lord Stanley, of "Stanley Cup" notoriety.  Since those days women have taken to the ice in increasing numbers and at increasing levels of competition, including NCAA D-1 (first in '00), the NHL (first in '92), and the Olympics (first in '98).

At the turn of this century, women's ice hockey at the college club level was still largely unsupported. Nearly fifty women's non-varsity teams were in existence, playing in regional leagues or as independents when, in January of 2000, a dramatic step was taken.

The American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), a league of approximately 150 men's teams across the U.S., announced the creation of the first national organization for women's collegiate, non-varsity ice hockey. Fourteen clubs signed up and never looked back.

Following that 2000-2001 season, our Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference (founded in 1971) led the way in giving the women of the Mid-Atlantic a place to call home.  Under the guidence of Brian Schnarr and Larry Wheatley, the DVCHC Women's Divison was born.

In 2002, this new division was made up of five founding teams: Penn State (PA), University of Pennsylvania (PA), University of Maryland (MD), American University (DC) and Drexel University (PA).  The DVCHC saw its first women's season, Spikes Cup Championship and All-Star game.

That year the veteran "Lady Icers" of Penn State went undefeated, wrapping up a win in the playoffs and a trip to ACHA nationals.

Years later the DVCHC Women's Division has continued its tradition of fast-paced, competitive hockey, growing to two divisions and one of the largest female college divisions in the US.

Our league represents and promotes the highest level of college sportsmanship, competition and fun, both regionally and nationally, and stands in dedicated service to women's hockey around the world.