HAVERHILL, Mass -- College Hockey America commissioner Robert DeGregorio announced Wednesday that Lindenwood University has officially submitted an application to the CHA for admission for the 2012-13 season.

“We will begin the process for admission, which will include a campus visit as soon as possible,” DeGregorio said. “This is a great time for the CHA,” he said. “With the addition of Penn State, the league currently is at five members for the 2012-13 season."

"We are excited about our transition to the NCAA and honored to have the opportunity to be part of a strong women's ice hockey organization like the CHA,” Lindenwood athletics director John Creer said.  “We believe that Lindenwood will be a good fit academically and athletically.  It will be a challenge moving from the CCWHA to the CHA, but it is one we are up to and excited about."

In February 2010, Lindenwood began the application process to elevate all its athletic programs from the NAIA level to NCAA Division II level with one of the exceptions being its women’s ice hockey program, which will be elevated to the Division I level.  The Lady Lions will bring a wealth of championship experience if admitted to the CHA, as Lindenwood has won four ACHA National Championships in the past six seasons.

"We are very honored and excited with the news that the CHA directors have accepted our application for membership," head coach Vince O’Mara said. "We are equally as excited to show the CHA and its member institutions how committed Lindenwood University is to its women's hockey program. Everyone here at Lindenwood has been working diligently to insure that our transition into NCAA membership is a successful one. We will continue our hard work to assure that with time, we will be a very competitive program for many years to come."