BGSU hockey still mulling WCHA decision (09-07-11)


Bowling Green still appears headed to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
And the Falcons might have even more new company in the WCHA than some of their Central Collegiate Hockey
Association rivals.
BG continues to evaluate its possible move to the WCHA after it was one of five CCHA schools invited to
join the WCHA starting with the 2013-14 season.
The invitations were extended Aug. 25 and the WCHA gave each school 30 days to make its decision.
Alaska (Fairbanks), Ferris State and Lake Superior already have agreed to join the WCHA, while Western
Michigan also continues to explore it options.
"That’s a good option for Bowling Green," BG athletics director Greg Christopher said Tuesday
about the WCHA. "The question is can we make it better and that’s some of the conversations we’re
having behind the scenes with those schools now. Ultimately, how big would that league look and (what
would) the configuration of that league (look like)?"
That leads to speculation the WCHA and the CCHA could be talking with four Atlantic Hockey schools –
Canisius, Mercyhurst, Niagara and Robert Morris – about joining the WCHA.
The CCHA and the four Atlantic Hockey schools first met July 26 to discuss future options for both sides.

Alabama-Huntsville, an independent, also may be involved in the talks. The Chargers were turned down for
CCHA membership in 2009.
"I’m not ready to completely shut the doors on the CCHA," Christopher said.
BG’s other option, although it appears unlikely at this point, is joining the new National Collegiate
Hockey Conference.
The NCHC has six schools and the conference has said it would like to have as many as eight members,
although no timetable for future growth has been announced.
"We don’t know what the new conference’s plans are," Christopher said of the NCHC.
Notre Dame still hasn’t announced what league it will join or if it will become an independent, but it is
not returning to the CCHA. If the Fighting Irish join a league, they most likely would move to the NCHC
or Hockey East.
In addition to ND, the most-mentioned schools to round out an eight-team NCHC are St. Cloud of the WCHA,
and BG and Western.
BG and Western are the only CCHA schools left for the 2013-14 season when all of college hockey’s
realignment takes affect.
"We’re looking at each and every option," Christopher said. "There’s that old management
adage of you don’t have to make a decision until you have to. I’m not saying we’ll take it right up to
the deadline."
"I do not foresee us making a decision this week," BG assistant athletics director for athletic
communications Jason Knavel said Tuesday.
The WCHA currently has nine schools for the 2013-14 season.
If BG, Western, the four Atlantic Hockey Schools and UAH all join the WCHA, that would give the league 16
members, possibly leading to some sort of two-division alignment.

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