As seven teams move forward with new conference, UAA hockey hopes for brighter future with WCHA
The Central Collegiate Hockey Association will be the name of a new
NCAA Division I college hockey conference formed by seven Western Collegiate Hockey Association teams, set to begin to play in 2021-2022.
In June of last year, Bemidji State University, Bowling Green State University, Ferris State University, Lake Superior State University, Michigan Technological University, Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Northern Michigan University announced their plans to leave the WCHA.
Currently, the University of Alaska Anchorage, the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alabama Huntsville are the only schools left, all without specific plans to leave the conference.
“We certainly want there to be a WCHA beyond next season,” UAA Athletic Director Greg Myford wrote via email Tuesday, “and there can be, but some important pieces need to fall in place by either adding existing programs or new collegiate programs launching and coming on board.”
Myford said the Seawolves are actively scheduling non-conference games for the 2021-22 season.
“Planning beyond next year is challenging, but only because we need to have multiple options open,” Myford added.
The alignment of the CCHA conference was led by Dr. Morris Kurtz, a longtime athletic director for St. Cloud State. The original CCHA dissolved in 2013, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks was a member of it from 1995 until then. Kurtz said in a press release that a group was decided to revive the CCHA because of the geographic alignment of its members.
The conference is on pace for an October 2021 puck drop and is currently in the process of finding a commissioner.