Bates Men’s Ice Hockey is a club hockey team that represents Bates College competitively in the sport of Ice Hockey. The team currently competes in NECHA’s Colonial Conference within ACHA’s DIII. As a Club, the team is fully run by it’s student members. Since 1995 the club has played home games at Underhill Arena. This rink is located directly on Bates’ campus and hosts heavily attended games most weekend nights during the winter. The season spans from late October to mid February. Our current team members represent significant geographic and experiential differences ranging from Beijing, China to Maine. Players have played at varying levels including, Midget AAA, Junior B, and competitive Prep and Public High Schools. All are welcome to join the club, no matter your experience with the sport of hockey.
Bates hockey played it’s first game in the Winter of 1919. During our inaugural season the team built an outdoor rink on Bates’ campus that even had lighting for night games. During the 1920s and 1930s, our competition consisted of our neighbors Colby and Bowdoin as well as M.I.T’s hockey team based in Cambridge, MA. During this period Bates, Colby and Bowdoin played in the Maine State Series which included a two game tie against each team.
Due to the onset of WWII and the costs of hosting hockey on campus, our team began playing home games off-campus and no longer played other colleges. Instead, we began to play other teams around Lewiston. Lewiston has had a rich hockey history due to the influx of Franco-American mill-workers in the late 19th and early 20th century. Some of the best hockey clubs in New England were located here in Lewiston. Bates Hockey played a role in this history. After the 1930s, the team largely competed with these Franco-American teams within the Lewiston Area.
By the 1960s, the team returned to a schedule composed of both collegiate club teams and local teams within Maine. This trend continued until the 1980s when the club switched to a schedule largely comprised of other Collegiate Club programs. Since Bates lacked an on-campus rink, home games after the 1930s were played in downtown Lewiston. This all changed in the mid 1990s when Bates built Underhill Arena in 1995. Since then all games and practices have been hosted within Underhill Arena.
More recently the club has competed within ACHA. A national Collegiate hockey league comprised of club teams. Within this league we have largely competed with teams from New England and have been apart of the NECHA conference.
In the late 2000s and early 2010s the club was extremely successful. from 2006 to 2009 our club was crowned League Champions of the NECHA Colonial Conference. Further, we won back to back NECHA Colonial Conference Championships: 2 – 1 (OT) vs. Daniel Webster College in 2008 and 3 – 0 vs. Keene St. College in 2009. These were the first hockey championships ever won by Bates College. The team moved to the NECHA Atlantic Conference in the early 2010s and remained very competitive. In 2014 we placed second in the Atlantic Conference Championship. We remained in the Atlantic Conference until 2017. In 2017, we moved back to the Colonial Conference where we finished with a record of 5-9-0.