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College Hockey:
Bowling Green accepts WCHA’s invitation to join in 2013

Bowling Green has accepted the WCHA’s offer of membership for the 2013-14 season, the school announced Tuesday.

The school was one of five from the CCHA given an invitation in August to join the WCHA, which is set to lose eight of its current 12 teams when conferences realign in the 2013 offseason. Alaska, Ferris State and Lake Superior State also accepted; Western Michigan instead is joining the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

“The WCHA is a great fit for BGSU,” Bowling Green athletic director Greg Christopher said in a statement. “WCHA teams are committed to the highest level of college hockey and competing for championships, just as we are at Bowling Green.”

The Falcons got an extension on the original deadline to answer the WCHA while they investigated other opportunities, one of which reportedly involved Atlantic Hockey schools and Buffalo, which has indicated an interest in forming a varsity program.

As it stands, the WCHA in 2013-14 will include current members Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech and Minnesota State, as well as current CCHA members Alaska, Bowling Green, Ferris State, Lake Superior State and Northern Michigan.

“I’d like to thank the presidents of the institutions in the WCHA for extending this invitation,” school president Dr. Mary Ellen Mazey said. “Our university and our hockey program has many similarities to the current WCHA members and we are excited to join with these schools in two years.”

Bowling Green was a founding member of the CCHA in 1971 and is the only one with that designation that has never left the league.

“We are absolutely elated to welcome Bowling Green into the Association family,” WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod said in a statement. “Across the board, BGSU is a first-class institution with a dynamic and proven athletic and hockey program that has enjoyed ongoing successes. They are 100 percent committed to being among the nation’s premier ice hockey programs and they will be a tremendous addition to our new-look WCHA. They enjoy enthusiastic support from both their fans and their community and will be a great fit. This is indeed a special day for the WCHA, for Bowling Green, and for college hockey in general.”


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  • Robert8_fun

    Major disappointment. I was hoping the CCHA could be saved somehow. Stick a fork in that league.

    • FrozenFourFan

      Well, I guess this was the easiest fix.  Not sure it was the best way to go for BG as far as travel goes, but then again, I’m not a hockey commish or AD.  Welcome to the WCHA BGSU!

      • FrozenFourFan

        Air Force joining now?  2 division WCHA…

        Div 1: Air Force / Alaska Anchorage / Bemidji State / Minnesota State / MTU
        Div 2: Alaska / Bowling Green / Ferris State / LSS / Northern Michigan

        • Layne

          You cant split a conference into two sub~divisions can you?

          • Joe C

            Of course you can. This is what happens in the major conferences with 12 teams. ACC has Atlantic and Coastal, SEC has East and West, Big Ten has Legends and Leaders (bwahahahaha), Pac-12 will has two.

            ECAC does not have two divisions but could. The purpose of two divisions is scheduling. In footbal, it means you play your division opponents once (5) your primary rival once (1) and rotate the other teams to give you (2) or (3) more for an 8 or 9 game schedule.

            In hockey, a ten team conference can play two games against everyone for 18 games, three games agaisnt everyone for 27 games or a hybrid for 21/24 games. When you have 12-teams, if you go to divisions, you play three against your division (15) and two against the other division (12) for 27 games or two across the board 22 games if you have the Ivies in your conference.

            The issue with divisions in 12-team conferences is the imbalance of games played in sports like football and hockey. One way around that is to add a “rival” game as listed above. You could also have a pod system, but Atlantic Hockey moved away from that for playoff seedings after weird things happened with playoff scheduling. 

            Hypothetical Hockey East “rivals”
            BU-BC
            UMass-UMass Lowell
            UNH-UVM
            Not sure who Maine, Northeastern, Providence or Merrimack would have as rivals. The other issue is that BU and BC could not be in the same division, because it would limit the number of times both schools might come through the other division, affecting the gate.

          • anon

            I could be mistaken but I believe the Atlantic uses a “pod” method of scheduling already.  Not two distinct divisions, but groups of teams lumped for scheduling.

  • Deeker Davage

    Now all BGSU needs is a real coaching staff and they’ll have a fighting chance…..

  • RamboWildcat

    NMU is now the CENTER of the new WCHA, from a location perspective.  They can travel by bus to all schools other than Alaska.  How will BGSU and Ferris travel to/from Bemidji and Mankato?  Wow, what a bus trip!  15-16 hours?  

    • anon

      BGSU to MTU, NMU is just as bad.  Spoken as a Houghton native living in Ohio… that drive is murderous.

  • Joe C

    I am glad to see this instead of a last-ditch effort to save the CCHA at the expense of Atlantic Hockey. While one program may move from ECAC and AHA each to accomodate the 12-team Hockey East, the proposed program at Buffalo should fill in whatever hole is caused.

    WCHA is now at 9 teams. Maybe, just maybe, they can invite Alabama Huntsville and the host for this year’s Frozen Four will have a conference home in the future.

    • Fan Man

      Although I would have no problem with Huntsville joining the WCHA, I just think Fargo-Moorhead has got to be cranking out ideas and thoughts of ways to make their debute season in 2013-14 into the WCHA.  Hopefully both teams can make it happen!

    • JamesDee

      Awesome, now the WCHA will have all Division one program so they can vote on rules and also wont lose the automatic bid.

      I would like to Air Force be the tenth team. But the Commish is meeting with UAH Chargers President.  So if UAH Chargers get their stuff together expect them to be the tenth team.

      Imagaine travel partners to play both Alaska teams for a week.
      MTU/NMU     LSSU/FSU  Bemdji/Mankato  BGSU/UAH

      Bowling Green one National Championship, NMU has one, MTU has three, and LSSU has three.

      Not bad for a bush league. If you like trees, snow, small towns, and pastys.