NOPE. Sorry for the misleading thumbnail. It is NOT University of Illinois. It's the St. Thomas Fighting Tommies.
Good news for college hockey as a whole. The more programs the better. Division 1 hockey went a long time where they had a consistent streak of colleges dropping their programs. When I was a kid UIC, Fairfield, Kent State, etc all dropped. It's great to see the game growing at this D1 level with Penn State, Arizona State, and now St Thomas getting NCAA D1 status. Now basically every kid growing up in Minnesota can play the highest level of college hockey because the state has 6 D1 programs. Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota State, St Cloud State, Bemidji State, and now St Thomas.
And Illinois still has...zero. Despite all the feasibility studies, the fund raising, the construction plans, support from the Blackhawks, the University of Illinois still hasn't been officially able to go D1. St Thomas seemingly just said "let's go D1" and it happened over night. A little small D3 school that historically hasn't even been the best program in their conference(Not sure when the split from St Norbert's conference happened, but Norbert's has been the Alabama of D3 programs in the midwest). I am so ready to be Illinois' #1 college hockey fan. The second they join the Big10 I will blog my dick off about them. The University needs to make it happen. They can be a powerhouse if they get STL and Chicagoland kids. They just need to press go and stop pussy-footing around. It's been like a solid 5 year cock tease now and they just got cucked by a school named the St Thomas Toms.