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WCHA shrinks even further in 2013

WCHAThe WCHA, already reeling from the loss of some high-profile Big Ten schools, is losing five more members in 2013, as the grand shakeup of college-hockey conferences continues.

The five schools leaving to form their own conference with Miami (Ohio): Colorado College, University of Denver, University of Minnesota-Duluth, University of Nebraska-Omaha and University of North Dakota. The CCHA‘s Notre Dame may also join this conference.

That leaves the WCHA with a tenuous five-team lineup: Bemidji State, Minnesota State-Mankato, St. Cloud State, Michigan Tech and Alaska-Anchorage. It also leaves the CCHA with an six teams: Alaska-Fairbanks, Bowling Green, Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Northern Michigan and Western Michigan.

We’re pretty sure we will not see the end of conference shifts: some sort of new conference with leftover WCHA and CCHA teams seems to be in order.

Here’s the press release we received:

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. The six institutions are Colorado College, University of Denver, Miami University, University of Minnesota Duluth, University of Nebraska Omaha and University of North Dakota.

We understand and appreciate the widespread interest in developments relating to the formation of the new hockey conference. More information will be provided about the initiatives that have been undertaken, as well as the next steps involved, at a news conference in Colorado Springs this Wednesday, July 13. Our programs look forward to continued associations with our current leagues, the WCHA and CCHA, for the next two seasons.

Additional information about Wednesday’s news conference will be forthcoming in the next few days. There will be no further comment from athletic directors, coaches or other officials from any of the institutions until Wednesday’s news conference.

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