Western Collegiate Hockey Association

Western Collegiate Hockey Association
Western Collegiate Hockey Association
Western Collegiate Hockey Association logo
Established 1951
Association NCAA
Division Division I
Members 13
Sports fielded Ice hockey (men's: 12 teams; women's: 8 teams)
Region Midwestern United States,
Western United States and Alaska
Former names Western Intercollegiate Hockey League (1953-58)
Midwest Collegiate Hockey League (1951-1953)
Headquarters Denver, Colorado
Commissioner Bruce McLeod
Website http://www.wcha.com
Western Collegiate Hockey Association locations

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association is a college athletic conference which operates over a wide area of the Midwestern and Western United States. It participates in the NCAA's Division I as an ice hockey-only conference.[1]

WCHA member teams have won a record 36 men's NCAA hockey championships, with the most recent in 2011 by the Minnesota–Duluth Bulldogs in St Paul. A WCHA-member team has also finished as the national runner-up a total of 28 times.[2]



the league's old logo

The league was founded in 1951 as the Midwest Collegiate Hockey League (MCHL),[1] then was known as the Western Intercollegiate Hockey League (WIHL) until 1958. The 1958-1959 season was one of independence for members as a result of recruiting techniques by some teams.[1] The current Western Collegiate Hockey Association was founded for the 1959-1960 season.[1] It has been claimed that the WCHA has the most impressive list of national-scale accomplishments of all Division I conferences.[1][3] At the conclusion of the 2006 season, WCHA teams had won five consecutive NCAA men's titles. The 2005 NCAA Frozen Four hockey tournament finals were noteworthy when all four teams came from the WCHA. The 2010 NCAA men's tournament included four WCHA teams, with the Frozen Four featuring Wisconsin for the 11th time.

WCHA teams have also won all eleven NCAA women's titles, which were first awarded in 2001.[4] In 2006, WCHA member Wisconsin was the first school to capture both the men's and women's Division I ice hockey championships in the same season.[5]

The men's regular season conference champion is awarded the MacNaughton Cup,[6] while the league's tournament champion winning the WCHA Final Five takes home the Broadmoor Trophy.[7]

2013 realignment

On March 22, 2011, Minnesota and Wisconsin announced that they plan on leaving the league in order to form a hockey Big Ten Conference in 2013–14 along with Penn State, which is starting a varsity hockey program in 2012–13, and Central Collegiate Hockey Association members Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State.[8]

In response to the creation of the Big Ten hockey conference, Denver, Colorado College, North Dakota, Nebraska-Omaha, Minnesota-Duluth, and St. Cloud State will join Miami University and Western Michigan of the CCHA to create the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.[9][10] Facing membership at 5 teams for the 2013–14 season (St. Cloud had not yet announced its intent to leave), the conference added Northern Michigan from the CCHA on July 15, 2011.[11]

On August 25, 2011, the WCHA announced that had invited the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Bowling Green State, Ferris State, Lake Superior State and Western Michigan to join beginning in the 2013-2014 season. On August 26, 2011, Alaska-Fairbanks, Ferris State and Lake Superior State accepted their invitations and will join Northern Michigan into the WCHA in 2013.[12] After much deliberation, on October 4, 2011, Bowling Green decided to join the WCHA as well in 2013.[13]


The WCHA has 13 member schools in all; the men's division operates with 12 members, while the women's division has eight.[14]

Institution Location Founded Joined Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Men's Women's NCAA Men's
NCAA Women's
Primary Conference
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage, Alaska 1977 1993 Public 16,242 Seawolves Yes No 0 N/A Great Northwest (D-II)
Bemidji State University Bemidji, Minnesota 1919 1999 (women)
2010 (men)
Public 5,300 Beavers Yes Yes 0 0 Northern Sun (D-II)
Colorado College Colorado Springs, Colorado 1874 1951 Private 1,950 Tigers Yes[A 1] No 2 N/A SCAC (D-III)
University of Denver Denver, Colorado 1864 1951 Private 11,117 Pioneers Yes[A 1] No 7 N/A Sun Belt
Michigan Technological University Houghton, Michigan 1885 1951–1981
Public 7,014 Huskies Yes No 3 N/A GLIAC (D-II)
University of Minnesota Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota 1851 1951 Public 51,194 Golden Gophers Yes[A 1] Yes 5 2 Big Ten
University of Minnesota Duluth Duluth, Minnesota 1947 1966 Public 10,500 Bulldogs Yes[A 1] Yes 1 5 Northern Sun (D-II)
Minnesota State University, Mankato Mankato, Minnesota 1867 1999 Public 15,300 Mavericks Yes Yes 0 0 Northern Sun (D-II)
University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, Nebraska 1908 2010 Public 14,903 Mavericks Yes[A 1] No 0 N/A Mid-America (D-II)
University of North Dakota Grand Forks, North Dakota 1883 1951 Public 14,697 Fighting Sioux Yes[A 1] Yes 7 0 Great West
St. Cloud State University St. Cloud, Minnesota 1869 1990 Public 17,073 Huskies Yes[A 1] Yes 0 0 Northern Sun (D-II)
University of Wisconsin–Madison Madison, Wisconsin 1848 1969 Public 41,169 Badgers Yes[A 1] Yes 6 4 Big Ten
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Will leave the conference in 2013.

Future members

Institution Location Founded Joined Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Men's Women's NCAA Men's
Primary Conference
University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, Alaska 1917 2013 Public 9,380 Nanooks Yes No 0 Great Northwest (D-II)
Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, Ohio 1910 2013 Public 19,764 Falcons Yes No 1 MAC
Ferris State University Big Rapids, Michigan 1884 2013 Public 13,865 Bulldogs Yes No 0 GLIAC (D-II)
Lake Superior State University Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan 1946 2013 Public 2,907 Lakers Yes No 3 GLIAC (D-II)
Northern Michigan University Marquette, Michigan 1899 1984–1997
Public 9,000 Wildcats Yes No 1 GLIAC (D-II)

Former members

Institution Location Founded Tenure Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Teams NCAA Men's Champ.
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan 1817 1951–1981 Public 40,025 Wolverines Men's 9 (5)A
Michigan State University East Lansing, Michigan 1855 1951–1981 Public 45,166 Spartans Men's 3 (1)A
Northern Michigan UniversityB Marquette, Michigan 1899 1984–1997 Public 9,000 Wildcats Men's 1 (1)A
University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, Indiana 1842 1971–1981 Private 10,311 Fighting Irish Men's 0 (0)A
  • All former members of the WCHA are current members of the CCHA.[15]
^A Number of NCAA championships won while WCHA member.
^B Northern Michigan will re-join the WCHA in 2013.

Membership timeline

Conference arenas

Locations of Western Collegiate Hockey Association member institutions.
School Hockey Arena Capacity
Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves Sullivan Arena 6,406
Bemidji State Beavers Sanford Center 4,700
Colorado College Tigers World Arena 7,343
Denver Pioneers Magness Arena 6,026
Michigan Tech Huskies John MacInnes Ice Arena 4,200
Minnesota Golden Gophers Mariucci Arena (men)
Ridder Arena (women)
Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs AMSOIL Arena 6,732
Minnesota State Mavericks Verizon Wireless Center (men)
All Seasons Arena (women)
Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks CenturyLink Center Omaha 16,500
North Dakota Fighing Sioux Ralph Engelstad Arena 11,640
Ohio State Buckeyes OSU Ice Rink 1,400
St. Cloud State Huskies National Hockey Center 5,763
Wisconsin Badgers Kohl Center 15,237

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Stutt, Kurt. "History of the WCHA". USCHO. Archived from the original on 2008-05-21. http://web.archive.org/web/20080521173313/http://www.uscho.com/m/wc/?data=history. Retrieved 2010-11-26. 
  2. ^ "All-Time Championship Tournament records and results" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. http://web1.ncaa.org/web_files/stats/m_ice_hockey_champs_records/2008/d1/D1champs.pdf. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  3. ^ Ciskie, Bruce (2010-03-31). "Geoffrion, Butler, Nyquist Named Hobey Hat Trick Finalists". National Hockey League. http://nhl.fanhouse.com/2010/03/31/geoffrion-butler-nyquist-named-hobey-hat-trick-finalists/?flv=1. Retrieved 2010-11-26. 
  4. ^ "National Collegiate Women's Ice Hockey Champions". National Collegiate Women's Ice Hockey History. NCAA. http://www.ncaa.com/history/w-hockey-d1.html. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  5. ^ Schmoldt, Eric (2006-04-10). "UW’s championship celebration continues at rally". The Badger Herald (Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin). http://badgerherald.com/sports/2006/04/10/uws_championship_cel.php. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  6. ^ Julien, Connie (2009). "MacNaughton Cup Winners". CC Hockey History. http://www.cchockeyhistory.org/MacNaughtonCupWinners.htm. 
  7. ^ "WCHA Unveils New Playoff Format and Broadmoor Trophy, Welcomes Bemidji State and Nebraska Omaha". Media Center. Western Collegiate Hockey Association. 2010-03-20. http://www.wcha.com/men/tourney/index.php. Retrieved 2010-11-26. 
  8. ^ "Big Ten Officially Announces Hockey Conference". College Hockey News. March 21, 2011. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. http://www.collegehockeynews.com/news/2011/03/21_big_ten_officially_announces.php/. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  9. ^ Paisley, Joe (July 9, 2011). "Schools confirm new college hockey 'super league'". Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/60Cy10c8w. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  10. ^ "St. Cloud St., W. Michigan join league". September 22, 2011. http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/7000875/national-collegiate-hockey-conference-invites-st-cloud-state-huskies-western-michigan-broncos. 
  11. ^ "WCHA set to add Northern Michigan as sixth member for 2013–14". U.S. College Hockey Online. July 15, 2011. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. http://www.uscho.com/2011/07/15/wcha-set-to-add-northern-michigan-as-sixth-member-for-2013-14/. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  12. ^ Sipple, George (August 26, 2011). "Ferris State becomes third CCHA team to accept WCHA invitation". Detroit Free Press. http://www.freep.com/article/20110826/SPORTS08/110826042/Ferris-State-becomes-third-CCHA-team-accept-WCHA-invitation. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  13. ^ Wagner, John (October 4, 2011). "Falcons make switch to WCHA". Toledo Blade. http://www.toledoblade.com/sports/2011/10/05/Falcons-make-switch-to-WCHA.html. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  14. ^ Buckentine, Tyler; Theresa Spisak (October 3, 2010). "‘Tougher’ WCHA crowd has league looking forward in 2010-11". College Hockey. USCHO. http://www.uscho.com/news/college-hockey/id,18806/TougherWCHAcrowdhasleaguelookingforwardin201011. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Teams of the CCHA". Central Collegiate Hockey Association. http://www.ccha.com/teams/default.aspx. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 

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