WCHA announces entire playoffs, starting with ’16-17 season, will be at campus sites

Starting with the 2016-17 season, the WCHA men’s playoffs — from the quarterfinals through the championship game — will be hosted by the highest remaining seeds at on-campus venues.

Starting in 2017 and continuing for at least the next three seasons, the “WCHA Playoffs” will consist of four best-of-three, quarterfinal round series hosted by the league’s top four regular-season finishers on the first weekend of March, followed by two best-of-three semifinal round series hosted by the highest remaining seeds on the second weekend of the month.

The “WCHA Championship” will be a single game, hosted by the highest remaining seed, on the third Saturday of March (the same weekend as the “Final Five” of previous seasons).

As has been the case since the 2013-14 campaign, the top eight teams from the WCHA regular season will qualify for the postseason.

“There is no greater thrill for hockey fans than watching their favorite team play for a championship on home ice,” said WCHA president and men’s commissioner Bill Robertson in a statement. “Much of what makes the WCHA so special are our passionate fan bases and fantastic in-arena atmospheres, which will only be heightened in a playoff series or in a single game with a championship and NCAA Tournament berth on the line.

“The opportunity to compete for the Broadmoor Trophy in a unique, frenzied atmosphere promises to be a fantastic experience for our student-athletes, our institutions and our fans. We look forward to watching a new WCHA tradition grow and flourish.”

The WCHA schedule will remain at 28 league games for the 2016-17 campaign, with the regular season concluding the weekend of Feb. 24-25. The full 2016-17 composite schedule will be released at 1 p.m. CST on May 19.