I received this email from Mr. Clint Ison, General Manager of Hockey Operations at UK, about UK Hockey no longer being part of the SECHC:
“On May 1st, Kentucky Hockey received an email from Commissioner Jay Peacock of the ACHA D2. This email stated that UK would not be allowed to remain a D2 team and continue to play in the SECHC. This is due to the fact that the SECHC is a D3 league and UK is a D2 team. We had the option of becoming a D3 team or leave the SECHC. The decision was made to remain a D2 team with the ACHA and withdraw from the SECHC. This decision is due in part to our geographic location. There are many more D2 teams located near Lexington which keeps the travel costs down for the team.
UK was asked to join the SECHC last season with the understanding that we would remain a D2 team and play the required 6 games against SECHC teams. Once we were notified on May 1st that we could no longer participate in a D3 league, we responded back to the commissioner that our intentions were to remain a D2 team. UK has been a member of the AHCA D2 as an independent for many years. We will remain in the ACHA’s southern division and plan on contending for a birth at Nationals this season.
I understand the ruling in this, and see the point in staying a D2 independent, but I enjoyed the one year in the SECHC. UK played a big role in the conference this past season, and I hate that they won’t be able to repeat that in 2018-19. But in the best interest of the program, and for it to continue to grow and improve, staying in D2 was the best move. The team management and coaches have things going in an amazing direction, and I see no reason to second guess their move here. There are more D2 teams around Lexington than D3 teams. This is huge for travel expenses for the team. That means more money can be put to better use for the players and coaches in equipment and other needed items. I fully trust Mr. Ison, Coach Pergram, and staff and know they are doing what is best for the University of Kentucky Hockey Club and the long term success of the team.
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