Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Minnesota State applies to NCHC

Minnesota State announced Wednesday afternoon that it has formally applied for membership in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, as the university contemplates the future of its men’s hockey program.

Approval of MSU’s application is anything but assured at this point, the release says, and even the timeline for consideration by the NCHC is unknown. 

The earliest the Mavericks could get into the new league, sources say, would be for the 2018-19 season. 

If Minnesota State were to be admitted, it would rejoin six of its former Western Collegiate Hockey Association that left that in 2013 conference behind for the upstart league — Colorado College, Denver, Minnesota Duluth, Nebraska Omaha, North Dakota and St. Cloud State.

Minnesota State’s success under fifth-year coach Mike Hastings (100 victories in four seasons), major improvements to the team’s Verizon Wireless facilities and strong administrative support for hockey could be attractive qualities to the NCHC, along with the school’s location. Mankato is as close to the geographic center of the NCHC as any city in the six states represented by the league.

According to the release, MSU has been up front with the WCHA about its decision to apply to the NCHC, and the WCHA responded with a statement, expressing disappointment and understanding.

And here is the NCHC's response.

Please see the story on The Free Press' website for updates.

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