Western Collegiate Hockey Association
|Western Collegiate Hockey Association
|Sports fielded||Ice hockey (men's: 10 teams; women's: 8 teams)|
|Region||Midwestern United States,
Western United States and Alaska
|Former names||Midwest Collegiate Hockey League (1951–53)
Western Intercollegiate Hockey League (1953–58)
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association is a college athletic conference which operates over a wide area of the Midwestern and Western United States. It participates in the NCAA's Division I as an ice hockey-only conference.
WCHA member teams have won a record 36 men's NCAA hockey championships, including the most recent in 2011 by the Minnesota–Duluth Bulldogs. A WCHA-member team has also finished as the national runner-up a total of 28 times.
The league was founded in 1951 as the Midwest Collegiate Hockey League (MCHL), then was known as the Western Intercollegiate Hockey League (WIHL) until 1958. The 1958-1959 season was one of independence for members as a result of recruiting techniques by some teams. The current Western Collegiate Hockey Association was founded for the 1959-1960 season. The 2005 NCAA Frozen Four hockey tournament finals were noteworthy when all four teams came from the WCHA.
WCHA teams have also won all 13 NCAA women's titles, which were first awarded in 2001. In 2006, WCHA member Wisconsin was the first school to capture both the men's and women's Division I ice hockey championships in the same season.
On March 22, 2011, Minnesota and Wisconsin announced that their men's teams planned to leave the league in order to form a hockey Big Ten Conference in 2013–14, along with Penn State, which would start a varsity hockey program in 2012–13, and Central Collegiate Hockey Association members Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State.
In response to the creation of the Big Ten men's hockey conference, Denver, Colorado College, North Dakota, Nebraska-Omaha, Minnesota-Duluth, and St. Cloud State joined Miami University and Western Michigan of the CCHA to create the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Facing membership at 5 teams for the 2013–14 season, the conference added one of its former members, Northern Michigan of the CCHA, on July 15, 2011.
On August 25, 2011, the WCHA announced that had invited the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Bowling Green, Ferris State, and Lake Superior State to join beginning in the 2013-2014 season. On August 26, 2011, Alaska-Fairbanks, Ferris State and Lake Superior State accepted their invitations and will join Northern Michigan in the WCHA in 2013. After much deliberation, on October 4, 2011, Bowling Green decided to join the WCHA as well in 2013. On January 17, 2013, the WCHA admitted Alabama–Huntsville to the league, effective in the 2013–14 season.
This realignment activity only affected the men's side of the WCHA. Even after Penn State took the ice with both men's and women's teams, the Big Ten still had only four members with varsity women's hockey (Michigan and Michigan State field only men's teams). This means that the women's side of the WCHA will remain intact for the foreseeable future.
The WCHA has 13 member schools in all; the men's division operates with 12 members, while the women's division has eight.
- All future members of the WCHA, except for Alabama-Huntsville, are current members of the CCHA through the 2012–13 season.
|Institution||Location||Founded||Tenure||Affiliation||Enrollment||Nickname||Teams||NCAA Men's Champ.|
|University of MichiganB||Ann Arbor, Michigan||1817||1951–1981||Public||40,025||Wolverines||Men's||9 (5)A|
|Michigan State UniversityB||East Lansing, Michigan||1855||1951–1981||Public||45,166||Spartans||Men's||3 (1)A|
|Northern Michigan UniversityC||Marquette, Michigan||1899||1984–1997||Public||9,000||Wildcats||Men's||1 (1)A|
|University of Notre DameD||Notre Dame, Indiana||1842||1971–1981||Private||10,311||Fighting Irish||Men's||0 (0)A|
- ^A Number of NCAA championships won while WCHA member.
- ^B Michigan and Michigan State will join the new Big Ten men's hockey league in 2013.
- ^C Northern Michigan will rejoin the WCHA in 2013.
- ^D Notre Dame will join Hockey East in 2013.
|Bemidji State||Sanford Center||4,700|
|Colorado College||World Arena||7,343|
|Michigan Tech||John MacInnes Ice Arena||4,200|
|Minnesota||Mariucci Arena (men)
Ridder Arena (women)
|Minnesota State||Verizon Wireless Center (men)
All Seasons Arena (women)
|Nebraska-Omaha||CenturyLink Center Omaha||16,500|
|North Dakota||Ralph Engelstad Arena||11,640|
|Ohio State||OSU Ice Rink||1,400|
|St. Cloud State||National Hockey and Event Center||5,763|
|Wisconsin||Kohl Center (men)
LaBahn Arena (women)
- Stutt, Kurt. "History of the WCHA". USCHO. Archived from the original on 2008-05-21. Retrieved 2010-11-26.
- "All-Time Championship Tournament records and results" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved 2009-02-23.
- "National Collegiate Women's Ice Hockey Champions". National Collegiate Women's Ice Hockey History. NCAA. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
- Schmoldt, Eric (2006-04-10). "UW’s championship celebration continues at rally". The Badger Herald (Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin). Retrieved 2010-11-25.
- Julien, Connie (2009). "MacNaughton Cup Winners". CC Hockey History.
- "WCHA Unveils New Playoff Format and Broadmoor Trophy, Welcomes Bemidji State and Nebraska Omaha". Media Center. Western Collegiate Hockey Association. 2010-03-20. Retrieved 2010-11-26.
- "Big Ten Officially Announces Hockey Conference". College Hockey News. March 21, 2011. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
- Paisley, Joe (July 9, 2011). "Schools confirm new college hockey 'super league'". Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
- "St. Cloud St., W. Michigan join league". September 22, 2011.
- "WCHA set to add Northern Michigan as sixth member for 2013–14". U.S. College Hockey Online. July 15, 2011. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
- Sipple, George (August 26, 2011). "Ferris State becomes third CCHA team to accept WCHA invitation". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
- Wagner, John (October 4, 2011). "Falcons make switch to WCHA". Toledo Blade. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
- "WCHA accepts Alabama-Huntsville for 2013-14 season". USCHO.com. January 17, 2013. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
- Buckentine, Tyler; Theresa Spisak (October 3, 2010). "‘Tougher’ WCHA crowd has league looking forward in 2010-11". College Hockey. USCHO. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
- "Teams of the CCHA". Central Collegiate Hockey Association. Retrieved November 26, 2010.