Another regular season in the books for NCAA Division 1 Men’s hockey! Playoffs have begun and the race to the Frozen Four is on. Who are you cheering for? It is now the time to celebrate this league as we know it, because everything is about to change.
Next season is going to look a little bit different for this league as the Big Ten Conference comes into effect and shakes everything up. The Big Ten Conference is prominent in NCAA sports such as basketball, baseball, and football, and has now decided to take its turn in hockey. Starting in the 2013-2014 season, the Big Ten Conference will include Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and newcomer Penn State University. These teams will play each other four times in a 20 game league schedule, and will have an additional 14 non-league games. This allows teams to get creative with their non-conference competitors. With a combined 23 NCAA championship titles amongst the Big Ten Conference teams, this conference is sure to be nothing less than exciting next year. The induction of this conference has been moved up a year due to the speedy construction of the new Penn State arena.
With three teams exiting the CCHA the conference will be no more. The remaining CCHA teams will be dispersed between the other conferences as well as the newly formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC). The WCHA will remain intact, only losing Wisconsin and Minnesota. Considering the Minnesota Gophers finished first in the conference this year, and Wisconsin was up there as well, remaining WCHA teams can’t be hating this change up!
We can’t wait to see what’s to come in playoffs this year, and how the conference shake up will affect the league next season!
Let me know what your thoughts about the shake up are