Despite the impending loss of Alabama-Huntsville from the ranks of Division I hockey, College Hockey Inc. executive director Paul Kelly remains optimistic about the expansion of the sport.

Kelly, a guest on the Nov. 1 episode of USCHO Live!, said that he is continuing to speak with “four to six” schools about moving to D-I. Kelly would like to see a couple of new teams in the southeastern U.S., including a possible return of UAH to varsity status, and teams on the west coast. He also was encouraged that more Big 10 universities might be starting programs (including women’s teams) in areas in which the USHL has made hockey popular, including “Iowa, North Dakota and Nebraska.”

In that same episode (available through the player on the right, via podcast, or at Kelly spoke about the efforts College Hockey Inc. has underway to promote the college game and spoke in favor of a proposal to raise the minimum draft age to 19 after the first round of the NHL draft. Kelly also answered questions about under-the-table payments from Major Junior teams to entice NCAA-committed players and spoke positively about the D-I conference commissioners’ commitment to the sport of D-I college hockey as a whole.

Also joining USCHO Live! was Michigan head coach Red Berenson. Berenson was emphatic that completing a college career is the best road for players unless they are ready to go straight to the NHL, giving an example of a player leaving early only to spend two or three years in the minors while another player who finished his college eligibility might get to the NHL first. Berenson also talked about the Rudy-like story of goaltender Shawn Hunwick and the early success of his former assistant and now Michigan Tech head coach Mel Pearson.

Each episode of USCHO Live! airs on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET and is available for download or podcast. USCHO Live! is hosted by senior writers Jim Connelly and Ed Trefzger. Updates on the program and its schedule are found at

  • So…if you do in fact rank by “who has had the most successful campaign right now” … how do you explain Yale at 6? Or Cornell at 11 for that matter? They don’t fit that reasoning.

    • ECACWriter

      For the Ivy League teams, nobody has any choice other than to rank based on potential. It’s the other teams for whom that rationale is unnecessary. I don’t like having to rank them that way, but I do think that Yale and Cornell are both Top-20 teams.

      • Scott Fitzgerald

        saw Union play this weekend..they completely dominated both games and will not lose too many games this year..should be in the top 10

  • UnionFan

    I think early in the season the rule should be “no games – no votes”. Let the Ivies jump in the mix later as they accumulate victories. Let those that are playing enjoy their place in the top 20 list.

    • ECACWriter

      I’m not against that philosophy per se, but if you took that approach, why have a preseason poll?

      • Spallhol

        Preseason polls are fun, you predict where a team will be at the end of the season, but after the season begins it’s the play and the record on which a poll is based. If you want to put in the team with no record you have a hybrid. Why does a team with no record move in your poll from week to week? If you thought a team was going to be at #5 preseason it seems to me that that team should be at #5 every week until it plays a game. As I said “no games-no votes”.

  • UpNorth16

    Michigan Tech in the top ten…you must be crazy. You must make your polling decisions from a random drawing or something. Your hockey knowledge equals that of a 5 year old. Whats next? The Brown Bears at number one because their pants and jerseys finally match? Find a job with Glamor magazine.

  • eric1

    This was a very good show. Keep up the good work.

  • 666777

    when would these teams b coming in2 college hockey

  • guest

    any word on msu or uofm womens hockey teams in the future?

  • Goober

    So, that “college hockey is a great way to make the NHL” commercial… I don’t suppose you played it for Paul Kelly for free, did you? And assuming College Hockey Inc is a paid sponsor of USCHO Live, shouldn’t you guys mention that, “Paul Kelly now joins us, and in the interest of journalistic integrity, College Hockey Inc. is a paid sponsor of USCHO Live.” ?