7 schools – 4 from Michigan – leaving WCHA to form new CCHA
Hockey teams from Michigan Tech and Lake Superior State, left, will be joining the new CCHA in 2021. At right, Michigan’s Nolan Moyle and MSU’s Tommy Miller fight for the puck.
The Central Collegiate Hockey Association is back.
Seven teams, including Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech, will leave the Western Collegiate Hockey Association to form the new edition of the CCHA beginning with the 2021-22 season. The other teams are Bowling Green, Bemidji State and Minnesota State.
That would leave the WCHA with only three teams: Alabama-Huntsville, Alaska and Alaska Anchorage.
The main reason those seven teams are leaving is the cost of travel to Alaska and Alabama.
"After extensive discussion and significant due diligence, it made sense to everyone involved to move in this direction," Morris Kurtz, a former athletic director and consultant in charge of getting the new conference established, said in a statement. "The name conveys the current geographic alignment of our members, and the CCHA brand has a tremendous amount of equity and goodwill associated with it. What's old is new again and we look forward to refreshing the brand and identity to fully capture the energy and passion of the institutions it represents."
Ferris State, Lake Superior State, Northern Michigan and Bowling Green were members of the old CCHA when it dissolved in 2013. Michigan Tech was a member of the CCHA from 1981 to 1984.
The seven schools forming the new CCHA first announced their intention to leave the WCHA last July. According to that group’s bylaws, schools must give at least 25 months’ notice that they’re leaving in order to avoid paying exit fees.
“We’re evaluating where we’re at and to see what steps we can take to continue the WCHA for long-term success,” WCHA Commissioner Bill Robertson told the Mining Journal last July. “The three schools, Alaska-Anchorage, Alaska-Fairbanks and Alabama-Huntsville are committed to making the WCHA as good as it can be, and we will evaluate how we could potentially add some additional teams.”
The original CCHA operated from 1971 to 2013. The University of Michigan and Michigan State were members from 1981 to 2013.
Michigan beat Michigan State by 3-0 scores Friday and Saturday night at Ann Arbor’s Yost Ice Arena to sweep the best-of-three Big Ten Quarterfinal series and advance to the conference semifinals.
Strauss Mann made 20 saves on Saturday night in his second consecutive shutout. He has six for the season, which is second in NCAA Division I.
Will Lockwood, Johnny Beecher and Jake Slaker scored for the Wolverines (18-14-4) Saturday. The Spartans end the season (15-19-2).
Mann made 25 saves Friday night as Slaker, Beecher and Nick Pashtujov got the goals.