WCHA set to add Northern Michigan as sixth member for 2013-14

The WCHA is on the verge of adding Northern Michigan to its lineup for the 2013-14 season.

Formal approval of the Wildcats’ application for membership will happen next week, the league announced in a statement Friday afternoon.

Administrators from the five schools that will remain from the current-day WCHA after formation of the Big Ten and the National Collegiate Hockey Conference strips seven teams away in 2013 met Friday in St. Paul, Minn.

The move brings Northern Michigan to the WCHA for a second time. The Wildcats started in the CCHA in 1977 before joining the WCHA along with Upper Peninsula rival Michigan Tech in 1984. They returned to the CCHA in 1997. (See conference changes timeline.)

Five of the 11 teams in the present-day CCHA have committed to another conference for the 2013-14 season. Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State will join the Big Ten. Miami will move to the NCHC.

Notre Dame and Western Michigan also have been linked with moves away from the CCHA.