While the fledgling National Collegiate Hockey Conference has awaited a word from Notre Dame about joining for the league’s debut in 2013-14, it appears the conference has two new additions — St. Cloud State and Western Michigan of Kalamazoo, Mich.
The Kalamazoo Gazette is reporting Wednesday that Western Michigan of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association will officially announce intentions to join Thursday with St. Cloud State of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association to follow. That would bring league membership to eight along with Minnesota Duluth, North Dakota, Denver, Colorado College, Nebraska-Omaha and Miami of Ohio.
The Kalamazoo Gazette story is here here.
A Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald story is here.
Also, reports from U.S. College Hockey Online here and from College Hockey News here.
The Gazette notes that Western Michigan’s move to join the NCHCA has been confirmed by multiple sources. The school, as part of the CCHA, had been invited to join the WCHA for 2013-14, but declined that offer, said the Gazette. St. Cloud State is also expected to join the NCHC, said the Gazette.
The NCHC has made no secret that it has been recruiting other programs as specified recently by Bobby Goldwater, from the consulting firm the Goldwater Group, which is directing the new league’s start up.
Western Michigan was among the early candidates to join the NCHC but held off a decision, at first, waiting to see what fellow CCHA member Notre Dame would do. Because the Fighting Irish have been dragging their feet, Western Michigan has moved on. St. Cloud State is new to the discussion.
The NCHC officially announced its formation on July 9 and will be based in Colorado Springs, Colo.