On October 5, 2011, the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish (an ACC member outside football) announced they would be joining Hockey East as the conference's first non-New England school in 2013 after the CCHA folded. On March 22, 2016, Notre Dame subsequently announced their men's hockey team would leave Hockey East for the Big Ten Conference at the start of the 2017-2018 season. The University of Connecticut (UConn) and Hockey East jointly announced on June 21, 2012 that UConn's men's team, then in Atlantic Hockey, would join the school's women's team in Hockey East in 2014. On October 24, 2013, Merrimack College, already a member of the Hockey East men's league, announced that it would upgrade its women's team from club level to full varsity status effective in 2015 and join the Hockey East women's league.
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