CHA Mingles Men’s, Women’s Championships

College Hockey America, unique among the six men’s Division I hockey conferences in that it holds its entire championship tournament in one weekend, has gone a step farther.

The league and member institution Wayne State announced Tuesday that the [nl]Michigan State Fairgrounds Coliseum in Detroit will be the site of both the 2006 men’s and women’s championships on March 9-12. Wayne State will host.

The seventh annual men’s CHA championship will get underway with quarterfinal games at 3:35 p.m. and 7:35 p.m. EST, Friday, March 10. The top two teams in the regular-season standings will receive byes into the semifinals, playing the quarterfinal winners at 3:35 p.m. and 7:35 p.m., Saturday, March 11.

The fourth annual women’s championship will begin with semifinal games Thursday, March 9, at 5:05 p.m. and 8:05 p.m.

Both the men’s and women’s championship games will take place Sunday, March 12. The women’s championship is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. with the men’s title tilt set for 7:05 p.m., the first time in college hockey history that a Division I men’s and women’s league will play both championships on the same weekend at the same site.

The event will take place at the historic, 5,600-seat Michigan State Fairgrounds Coliseum. Built in 1922, the arena was renovated in 1998 and served as the original home of Wayne State’s men’s and women’s hockey programs.

“It’s a great fit — the CHA championship with Hockeytown,” Wayne State director of athletics Rob Fournier said. “As one of the few conferences that offers both men’s and women’s hockey, this opportunity to combine our championships offers a unique presentation that is perfect for the tradition-rich setting of Detroit.”

“Ever since the CHA expanded to include women’s hockey, the possibility of hosting the men’s and women’s tournament at the same site and on the same weekend posed an intriguing challenge,” CHA commissioner R.H. “Bob” Peters added. “Wayne State University, upon accepting the daunting task of hosting the first ever combined men’s and women’s hockey postseason conference tournament championships, exemplifies the spirit and commitment of the CHA regarding expansion and promotion of Division I men’s and women’s hockey.”