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Reports say Denver, North Dakota leaving WCHA with CC (college hockey)


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Hockey league expected to splinter in 2013-14

July 07, 2011 3:07 PM

JOE PAISLEY

THE GAZETTE

Sources have confirmed to the Grand Forks Herald that North Dakota will leave the Western Collegiate Hockey Association with Colorado College, Denver, Miami (Ohio), Minnesota-Duluth and Nebraska-Omaha expected to join them for the 2013-14 season.

Colorado College athletic director Ken Ralph could not confirm the expected announcement next Wednesday in Colorado Springs.

?There?s nothing I can tell you that?s different than what I told you (Wednesday),? Ralph said. ?You can read into that what you want.?

Western Michigan and Notre Dame have been mentioned as possible teams in reports.

Colorado Springs Gazette

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Is there a reason why UNO is part of this hair brained scheme created by North Dakota to get away from the WCHA, which was the best conference in college hockey last season by the way, and form this new splinter league?

Also, what does this do for the other WCHA schools? Where do they go and what can they do?

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Is there a reason why UNO is part of this hair brained scheme created by North Dakota to get away from the WCHA, which was the best conference in college hockey last season by the way, and form this new splinter league?

Also, what does this do for the other WCHA schools? Where do they go and what can they do?

I guess the remaining WCHA schools and the remaining CCHA schools could form a conference together.

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Is there a reason why UNO is part of this hair brained scheme created by North Dakota to get away from the WCHA, which was the best conference in college hockey last season by the way, and form this new splinter league?

Also, what does this do for the other WCHA schools? Where do they go and what can they do?

They and the CCHA survivors whither and die likely. Fun, eh?

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The good thing is, both of those teams are too far away to join Hockey East. I may not go to BC, but I was raised a BC fan and I still love me some Eagles hockey. NoDak and Colorado College several times a season would be quite the obstacle. BU, UNH, and to a lesser extent Vermont and Maine are quite enough, thanks.

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University of Denver, Colorado College joining new hockey league in 2013

By The Denver Post

Posted: 07/09/2011 11:19:05 AM MDT

Updated: 07/09/2011 03:24:12 PM MDT

It's official: The University of Denver and Colorado College hockey teams will have a new home beginning in 2013-14. That means the two schools will be leaving the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

In a joint statement released today, the athletic directors of six schools announced the formation of the new NCAA hockey league.

"We are pleased to announce that six top NCAA Division I ice hockey programs will become founding members of a newly formed hockey conference, which will begin competition for the 2013-14 season," said the press release. "The six institutions are Colorado College, University of Denver, Miami University, University of Minnesota Duluth, University of Nebraska Omaha and University of North Dakota."

The schools said details of the league will be provided at a news conference in Colorado Springs on Wednesday. The statement didn't mention Notre Dame, which was rumored to be considering joining the new league.

College hockey's landscape was already significantly altered this year when the Big Ten announced a plan to form a hockey conference in two seasons. The new Big Ten hockey league will take Minnesota and Wisconsin from the 50-year-old WCHA to play with Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State of the CCHA and the startup program at Penn State.

Once DU and C.C. leave for the new hockey league, the WCHA will have only five teams: Alaska Anchorage, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State in Mankato and St. Cloud State. None of those remaining WCHA programs have the tradition or revenue-producing ability of schools like Minnesota, North Dakota or Denver.

Officials from the five remaining WCHA schools are expected to meet next week to discuss their future.

Reports of the new league surfaced last week.

At that time, DU Pioneers coach George Gwozdecky said: "We want to be aligned, and want to be continued to be aligned, with schools of like-minded thinking (that) operate as we do. If that means the WCHA schools, that's great.

"As I said before, there have been (realignment) discussions, but our intention is to continue be a strong partner with the other members of the WCHA while the process continues."

? The Associated Press contributed to this report

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I'm pretty sure that when the dust finally settles, Western Michigan and Notre Dame (if they don't join the Big Ten as an affiliate member) will have joined the new conference as well.

As for the rest of the teams, I suppose they could just form their own conference. I never understood why the two Alaska teams weren't in the same conference or why Michigan Tech played in a conference separated from the other Yooper schools.

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I never understood why the two Alaska teams weren't in the same conference.

Because scheduling is a 2 game weekend series, teams did not want to have to travel to Anchorage for one series, then head up to Fairbanks a month or so later for another one. They could have solved it by playing one night in Anchorage, one night in Fairbanks, but that would have messed up the conference schedule.

http://www.adn.com/2011/07/07/1957236/wcha-breakup-will-leave-uaa-jilted.html

The WCHA and CCHA could merge, Cobb said, which would put Alaska's two college hockey teams in the same league. But whether a single conference will want two Alaska teams is the question. Back when UAA and UAF gained entry to conferences, the WCHA took UAA and the CCHA took UAF so that neither league wound up with both Alaska teams.

"It's tough selling two trips to Alaska in one year," Cobb said.

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I never understood why the two Alaska teams weren't in the same conference.

Because scheduling is a 2 game weekend series, teams did not want to have to travel to Anchorage for one series, then head up to Fairbanks a month or so later for another one. They could have solved it by playing one night in Anchorage, one night in Fairbanks, but that would have messed up the conference schedule.

http://www.adn.com/2011/07/07/1957236/wcha-breakup-will-leave-uaa-jilted.html

The WCHA and CCHA could merge, Cobb said, which would put Alaska's two college hockey teams in the same league. But whether a single conference will want two Alaska teams is the question. Back when UAA and UAF gained entry to conferences, the WCHA took UAA and the CCHA took UAF so that neither league wound up with both Alaska teams.

"It's tough selling two trips to Alaska in one year," Cobb said.

Can they do it ECAC-style by having the same road trips then? For example if you play at Cornell on Friday you then play at Colgate on Saturday. That wouldn't make it too terrible if you hit the two Alaska schools in one trip

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I never understood why the two Alaska teams weren't in the same conference.

Because scheduling is a 2 game weekend series, teams did not want to have to travel to Anchorage for one series, then head up to Fairbanks a month or so later for another one. They could have solved it by playing one night in Anchorage, one night in Fairbanks, but that would have messed up the conference schedule.

http://www.adn.com/2011/07/07/1957236/wcha-breakup-will-leave-uaa-jilted.html

The WCHA and CCHA could merge, Cobb said, which would put Alaska's two college hockey teams in the same league. But whether a single conference will want two Alaska teams is the question. Back when UAA and UAF gained entry to conferences, the WCHA took UAA and the CCHA took UAF so that neither league wound up with both Alaska teams.

"It's tough selling two trips to Alaska in one year," Cobb said.

I thought they justified splitting the Alaska schools up because that way more teams could take advantage of the "bonus games outside of the contiguous 48" rule.

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I suppose the Alaska schools could join whatever conference they want on account of them being so far out of the way that travel time doesn't make much of a difference.

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It's the college football realignment all over again.

No, this makes college football look like a bunch of sticks in the mud by comparison. Remember when Texas was threatening to bolt the Big 12 along with Nebraska and Colorado, and everyone thought this would relegate that conference's remaining nine athletic programs to somewhere in between Conference USA and D-I FCS stature? Now imagine that move would have prompted a wholesale reshuffling of the the Pac-12, WAC, Mountain West and the newly indie BYU program and also lowered all those schools down to that same state of irrelevance, and you'd be a lot closer to the mark.

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  • 2 months later...

From Mike McMahon, Sportswriter for the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune (a newspaper north of Boston with a well-respected sports section):

@MikeMcMahonET: BC and BU were both extended offers to join NoDak's new "Super Conference" but declined to leave Hockey East

Thank god. Leave Hockey East alone.

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  • 1 month later...

Can football succeed at UWM?

UWM looking to add ice hockey?

Interestingly enough, adding hockey seemed to be an afterthought to adding football, but hockey talk has picked up steam due to some big-time donors in Madison apparently feeling discontent with the direction the program is headed in and have expressed interest in funding a program at Milwaukee. The WCHA itself is also rumored to be willing to dig into its own pockets to start a program... Wisconsin is their second largest market and they don't want to lose their presence here when the Badgers move to the new Big Ten Hockey Conference.

I'd still rather have football, but I'd gladly support a Panther hockey team and Milwaukee already has a number of already existing buildings that could host them including US Cellular Arena (the current home of the basketball team). The students also just overwhelmingly voted in favor of a new on-campus arena which could be built with ice-making capabilities. It may be a pipe dream, but these are indeed some pretty exciting developments!

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