The National Collegiate Hockey Conference will feature a 24-game conference schedule when the new conference begins play in the 2013-14 season, according to a press release issued Wednesday.
USCHO.com reported that this was the most likely scenario back in December.
“The representatives from our eight programs came to the conclusion that a 24-game conference schedule is the most desirable,” said NCHC commissioner Jim Scherr in the release. “It is no secret that the National expects to be the most competitive conference in the college hockey, so everyone starts with the expectation that every game against a league opponent will be a battle. We believe that the strength of the conference along with the allowance for 10 non-conference games against a combination of traditional rivals and other top programs from around the country will provide the best opportunity to have a maximum number of our teams qualifying for the NCAA tournament and playing for the national championship every year.”
While the eight teams will not be playing all conference opponents the same number of times in a season, Scherr indicated that the athletic directors and coaches were comfortable that the schedule will balance out over the course of several years. Each team will play 12 conference games in each half of the season.