From the look of things, the landscape of college hockey could be markedly different by the time the 2013-14 season begins.
It already seemed that way when the Big Ten Conference was announced; Minnesota and Wisconsin will leave the WCHA while Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State will leave the CCHA and Penn State will get its program together to form the foundation of that conference. Now that point will be driven home even further after the announcement of a so-called super-conference that will put six college hockey juggernauts together. Those six colleges includes reigning 2011 NCAA champions Minnesota Duluth along with Colorado College, Denver, Miami of Ohio, Nebraska-Omaha and North Dakota. Five of those teams will bolt from the WCHA while Miami of Ohio will shift from the CCHA.
One program that didn’t seem to join either of the big new conferences was Notre Dame, but perhaps there will be more information about its future (along with the remaining teams in the WCHA and CCHA) as time goes on.
Here is a statement from the six schools who will form that not-yet-named “super conference.”
We are pleased to announce that six top NCAA Division I ice hockey programs will become founding members of a newly formed hockey conference, which will begin competition for the 2013-14 season. The six institutions are Colorado College, University of Denver, Miami University, University of Minnesota Duluth, University of Nebraska Omaha and University of North Dakota.
We understand and appreciate the widespread interest in developments relating to the formation of the new hockey conference. More information will be provided about the initiatives that have been undertaken, as well as the next steps involved, at a news conference in Colorado Springs this Wednesday, July 13. Our programs look forward to continued associations with our current leagues, the WCHA and CCHA, for the next two seasons.
Additional information about Wednesday’s news conference will be forthcoming in the next few days. There will be no further comment from athletic directors, coaches or other officials from any of the institutions until Wednesday’s news conference.
We will provide more insight and analysis on these changes in the near future.