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Potential Big Ten Hockey Conference Could Cause Gophers, Badgers to Leave WCHA

09/14/2010 - 3:00 AM

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Potential Big Ten Hockey Conference Could Cause Gophers, Badgers to Leave WCHA

A major shakeup to Western Collegiate Hockey Association might be just around the corner with the rumors of a Big Ten Hockey Conference pending on Penn State adding varsity hockey. St. Cloud State could see rivals and big name programs in Minnesota and Wisconsin jump ship to a Big Ten Hockey Conference if one is formed.

The league is contingent on Penn State adding hockey, because with the Nittany Lions, six schools who participate in Big Ten athletics in other sports would have hockey. This is the minimum number required to have a conference and earn an automatic NCAA tournament bid. Penn State’s announcement of adding hockey could come as early as Wednesday, reports say.

If the Big Ten conference is formed, the CCHA would also lose multiple big name programs in Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State to the new league.

Losing the Golden Gophers and Badgers would be big losses for the WCHA, but in a report in the St. Cloud Times, Gopher coach Don Lucia was quoted as saying Minnesota would still be interested in scheduling long time opponents like St. Cloud State even if the Gophers were to jump to the Big Ten.

KVSC will follow this story as it breaks. For the latest updates, follow our Hockey Twitter, at www.twitter.com/KVSCHockey.

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