BEMIDJI, Minn. and MADISON, Wis. — Bemidji State and the WCHA have reached a future scheduling agreement involving the Bemidji State men’s ice hockey program.
Beginning with the 2010-11 season, and in conjunction with the opening of the Bemidji Regional Events Center, the WCHA will include in its annual composite schedule guaranteed home contests in men’s ice hockey at Bemidji State.
The announcement comes as the future of the CHA — which will drop to four members at the close of this season with the demise of the Wayne State program — remains in doubt. Bemidji had been pursuing membership in the WCHA, but saw that possibility end for the near future after the WCHA announced a moratorium on new members in May.
“We’re pleased that we have been able to successfully pursue this agreement with the WCHA,” Bemidji State president Dr. Jon Quistgaard said. “We view this agreement as the first step in developing an even closer relationship between Bemidji State University and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.”
BSU director of athletics Dr. Rick Goeb added, “This is a positive step for Bemidji State University and its hockey program. It helps us in reaching our goal of attaining more home games and additional games against the one of the premier hockey conference in the country — the WCHA.”
Bemidji State hopes to play an annual 12-game, non-conference schedule against members of the WCHA with an even split of home and road contests. However, no specific details regarding the scheduling agreement have been finalized at this time.
“The WCHA congratulates the City of Bemidji and Bemidji State University on their commitment to build a new ice hockey facility,” WCHA officials said in a statement released Friday. “[The WCHA] looks forward to helping showcase the sport at the highest level to the citizens of Bemidji, Minn.”
Bemidji State’s women’s team is a member of the women’s WCHA.