WCHA announces future playoff sites, new playoff format

The WCHA announced Saturday that the WCHA Final Five will be played at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich., for the 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons and will return to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., for the 2014-15 and 2016-17 postseasons.

In addition, the conference also outlined its revised playoff format.

The top eight teams in the final regular-season standings will play in a best-of-three first-round series at the home site of the top four finishers, followed by the four first-round winners advancing to the WCHA Final Five the following weekend, which would consist of two semifinal games on the first day of the event followed by the Broadmoor Trophy title contest on day two.

“We are looking forward to a tremendous season in 2013-14 and all the excitement and interest that the new-look WCHA will generate,” said WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod in a statement. “This new post-season tournament format will make for an ultra-competitive regular season race among the 10 teams, followed by our traditional first-round, best-of-three playoff series and then the ultimate reward of playing for the Broadmoor Trophy and an automatic berth into the national tournament in two of the premier hockey venues in the country.

“We are all enthused and we are ready and rarin’ to go.”