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MADISON, Wis. – The nine member teams that will make up the men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) beginning in 2013-14 concluded a series of positive and productive meetings in Detroit this week and continue to move forward on a number of key issues.
"This is certainly an exciting time for the newly-integrated WCHA," said Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport, who is the chair of the league's President's Council. "Our meetings this week were spirited and full of comaraderie, and we are all looking forward to the 2013-14 season. Across the board we are 100% committed to putting a highly competitive product on the ice in the WCHA, to compete for championships, to give our student athletes the best possible experience and to provide our fans with a great game-day experience. The WCHA brand is strong, historic and full of rich tradition and we will both carry on that tremendous tradition and also build upon it."
Among the many topics covered in the meetings,
• the membership discussed and approved a 28-game league schedule for 2013-14
• the membership discussed and approved a nine-team post-season tournament format
• the membership discussed and updated the league's by-laws
• the membership discussed and continues to explore several potential venues for the annual
WCHA Final Five playoff championship.
"We have accomplished a great deal and feel tremendously upbeat about where we are at as we look ahead to the 2013-14 season," said WCHA Commissioner Bruce M. McLeod. "We have had very productive meetings with the coaches, athletic directors and presidents all present and we are united in moving forward to ensure the continued success of the WCHA and its member teams. We are also engaged in on-going discussions with various venues for our flagship event – the WCHA Final Five – and hope to finalize those championship plans as soon as possible."
The league agreed on a change in governance that will have the Presidents Council act as the Board of Directors and the Athletic Directors serve as the Management Council. The President's Council also created a Steering Committee to coordinate and handle major issues going forward. The Steering Committee consists of Minnesota State President Richard Davenport, Ferris State President Dave Eisler, Michigan Tech Athletic Director Suzanne Sanregret and Bowling Green State Athletic Director Greg Christopher.
Other topics of discussion at the meetings included expansion and identifying potential future member teams and future public relations and marketing initiatives to coincide with the 2013-14 campaign.
Founded in 1951 and home to a collegiate record 37 national championship teams, the men's WCHA beginning in 2013-14 will consist of the University of Alaska Anchorage, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Bemidji State University, Bowling Green State University, Ferris State University, Lake Superior State University, Michigan Technological University, Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Northern Michigan University.
Ferris State, the 2011-12 NCAA Division I National Runner-Up, will play its final season as a member of the current Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) this coming year in 2012-13. The Bulldogs captured their second CCHA Regular-Season Championship this past year en route to winning the Midwest Regional Championship and the program's first-ever Frozen Four appearance.