WCHA notes: Playoff format, travel partners

Some news about our new league from over the weekend:

  • WCHAlogoThe WCHA athletics directors have approved the league’s playoff format, according to the Mankato Free Press. No longer will all teams make the WCHA playoffs every year: Only the top 8 qualify. The top four seeds would host best-of-3 series in the first round with the winners going to a neutral site for the semifinals and championship. The format must be approved by the school presidents.
  • The league is close to finalizing contracts with Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. (2014 and 2016) and the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. (2015 and 2017) to host the championship weekend.
  • The “Alaska Plan,” in which Alaska-Fairbanks and Alaska-Anchorage would play each other in the WCHA playoffs every year to cut travel costs, was scrapped. According to the Marquette Mining Journal, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and UAH proposed travel subsidies for the first round as they will during the regular season.
  • The Bowling Green Sentinal-Tribune reports that teams have received lists of the schools they’ll be playing next season, but no dates yet as they try to get UAH a full 28-game conference schedule. Each team will have a travel partner to play four times (two home, two away) per season. UAH’s travel partner is its closest conference opponent, Bowling Green.

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