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WCHA Holdovers Support Adding Northern Michigan

The five teams left in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association following a major shake-up are moving to have Northern Michigan rejoin the league in two years.

The WCHA announced Friday that leaders of the holdover schools “are supportive” of Northern Michigan’s entrance into the conference for the 2013-14 season.

Officials from Alaska Anchorage, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State of Mankato and St. Cloud State met Friday in St. Paul to address their future.

Formal approval of Northern Michigan’s application for membership will occur next week, the WCHA said.

Colorado College, Denver, Minnesota Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha and North Dakota unveiled this week their plan to create the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference in two years, with Miami of Ohio leaving the Central Collegiate Hockey Association to join them.

Minnesota and Wisconsin also will leave the WCHA then for the Big Ten’s new hockey league, with Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State coming from the CCHA with the new program at Penn State. Notre Dame is also considering leaving the CCHA for another league.

Northern Michigan played in the WCHA from 1984-97, before rejoining the CCHA. The Wildcats were both regular-season and postseason champions in the WCHA before winning the NCAA championship in 1991. They also won the WCHA tournament in 1989 and 1992.

The university’s board of trustees endorsed Thursday the administration’s recommendation that the Wildcats pursue membership in the WCHA.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.

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