Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Big 9

Bowling Green has made its decision, and it will indeed join the WCHA in 2013-14, the school announced on Tuesday.

Bowling Green was invited to join the league, along with other CCHA schools after the formation of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference was announced. The Falcons were the last school to make a commitment and even asked the WCHA for a deadline extension to make its decision.

That will put the revamped WCHA at nine teams for 2013-14: Minnesota State, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech, Alaska-Anchorage, Alaska, Northern Michigan, Lake Superior State, Ferris State and Bowling Green.

"The WCHA is a great fit for BGSU," athletic director Greg Christopher said in a press release. "WCHA teams are committed to the highest level of college hockey and competing for championships, just as we are at Bowling Green."

Bowling Green might have been waiting for Notre Dame to make its final decision on a conference landing spot. The Irish are expected to announce on Wednesday that it is joining Hockey East (snubbing the NCHC perhaps?). There were also reports last week that Bowling Green was meeting with members of Atlantic Hockey and the University at Buffalo about possibly starting a new league or keeping the CCHA alive.

So will the WCHA hold at nine teams? Alabama-Huntsville is still looking for a home, and there have been calls by some for the WCHA to help save that program. Meanwhile, Minnesota State-Moorhead is still studying the feasibility of and seeking pledges for adding Division I hockey.

Stay tuned.


MSUMaverickFan said...

A few thoughts following the exhibition game.

Take what you will from an exhibition game against a team on their third game in as many days, but overall I thought it was a solid showing from MSU. The fitness level looked good. From what I've heard, the players felt they had a good summer, and it showed on the ice. The Mavs were winning races all over the ice, which is a great sign. Here's a few comments on some players I noticed.

Leivermann- Looked bigger stronger and faster than last year. Just what the doctor ordered. I think Corey is one of the more creative passers out there, and he has a nose for the net. I'd like to see him continue to improve his finishing ability. Hopefully he can gain some momentum and have a breakout year. I see the potential in his game.

Palmquist- Showed his offensive tendencies right out of the gate. He was given the green light to jump up with the offense. He's an elusive skater and stickhandler that will be relied upon in a d-corps which may lack the offensive flair we had last year.

LaFontaine- Reminds me of Chase Grant - which is a very good thing. Not afraid to chase the puck into the corners. I think we'll see his playmaking ability improve as the year goes on.

Leitner - As described. Cool, calm, playmaker. Has tremendous poise with the puck, doesn't panic. It will take him a while to get acclimated to the pace of the WCHA, especially after a year off. I'd like to see him as a fixture on the power-play by year's end. Great upside.

Thouwald - Human wrecking ball. Delivered 4 or 5 huge checks. The type of player every team needs. Great pickup.

Lehrke - Wow. What a great showing! He has some of the best hands on the team, which was evident last year. He needs to find confidence in his game and make better decisions on the ice on a regular basis. A player we need to step up and fill a scoring void.

Overall, tons and tons of depth at forward. Lots of speed throughout. If the Mavs can pull it all together and play with some measure of consistency, look for a surprise year.

KatoDiva said...

You were RIGHT ON with your "fill the stands" idea, Shane.

BIGhkyfan said...

Any good business man will tell you (particularly restaurants)you have to give your product away to draw NEW customers.
Filled seats will generate interest and help with concession revenue.

I know the players are busy with classes and hockey, yet they need to take a page from Jrs and get out in the community in high visible areas to SELL MSU hockey.

The AD department needs to step it up BIG TIME...

This and future groups of kids deserve it for what they give to the school.