ECHA - Skill Gap Closing?

Over the past 3 or so season, the ECHA division has been rather poor compared to the rest of M1. However, with teams like Drexel University, Towson University (Splitting with West Virginia and Duquesne and a close game with William Patterson) and Temple University (Started season 2-0 with a new head coach, now 2-1 after a tough loss to Robbert Morris, with 3 goals scored on a 5 min major) looking like solid squads, could we see the ECHA take the next step in becoming a better conference than the NECHL and rival the CMHA?

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Oh, it’s been a lot longer than the past 3 or so seasons.

ECHA, NECHL, and CMHA are all rather poor compared to the rest of M1. They’re bottom-feeder leagues in this division, and there’s a history of them having teams that don’t meet the minimum standard required by M1 rules for a league to receive an autobid to nationals (which those leagues depend on). But, since M1 doesn’t know and enforce their own rules very well, they’ve been allowed to just skate on by.

Speaking of which, does anyone know what happened to that “substantial” NECHL fine Sheriff talked about last season when the whole autobid issue blew up? Has NECHL paid, or do they lose their autobid this year?