Alaska's two collegiate hockey programs are losing several members of their existing conferences.
The athletic departments at WCHA programs North Dakota, Denver, Colorado College, Nebraska Omaha, and 2011 NCAA champion Minnesota-Duluth, along with CCHA school Miami released a joint statement on Saturday, confirming their intention to leave their respective leagues to form a super-conference of six schools. The new league will start play in the fall of 2013.
The move leaves the WCHA, of which UAA is a member, with only five teams. The WCHA has already seen Minnesota and Wisconsin jump ship to a new Big 10 hockey conference that will also start play in 2013. The Big 10 will also include current CCHA schools Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. The CCHA, of which UAF is a member, faces the possibilty of losing Notre Dame and Western Michigan, according to USCHO.COM.
UAA Athletic Director Dr. Steve Cobb will be traveling to Minnesota next week to discuss what lies ahead with the remaining WCHA schools. Those members are Saint Cloud State, Minnesota State-Mankato, Bemidji State, and Michigan Tech.