Click Here For Official WCHA Release
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's ice hockey program, which has received a first-round bye and will square off against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second round of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Playoffs next week, has unveiled its first-ever Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) conference regular-season schedule for the 2013-14 campaign.
The Bulldogs will play 28 WCHA games next season in the 10-team league, including both 14 home contests before one of the nation's most loyal fan bases inside the Ewigleben Ice Arena along with 14 more on the road. The announcement came in conjunction with the WCHA's official release today (March 7) of its 140-game composite league schedule for next year.
Ferris State will announce its complete 2013-14 schedule, including non-conference opponents, along with ticket information and start times at a later date.
The Bulldogs' 2013-14 league schedule is highlighted by seven regular-season home weekends with FSU entertaining new conference opponents Bemidji State, Michigan Tech and Alaska-Anchorage along with fellow current CCHA members who will also move to the WCHA in Bowling Green, Alaska, Northern Michigan and Lake Superior State.
"This first WCHA league schedule will certainly be challenging, much like it has been throughout our many years in the CCHA," said FSU head coach Bob Daniels. "We're looking forward to the opportunity to face new and highly-competitive opponents while at the same time maintaining exciting matchups against some schools we have played over the years.
"As this past season has shown, we have a loyal and passionate fan base that brings energy and excitement to our program and we're excited about the chance to embark on our first season in one of the nation's most prestigious conferences with them behind us," he added.
The recent addition of Alabama Huntsville gives the WCHA a highly-competitive 10-team league beginning in 2013-14, with membership consisting of the University of Alabama Huntsville (Chargers), University of Alaska Anchorage (Seawolves), University of Alaska Fairbanks (Nanooks), Bemidji State University (Beavers), Bowling Green State University (Falcons), Ferris State University (Bulldogs), Lake Superior State University (Lakers), Michigan Technological University (Huskies), Minnesota State University, Mankato (Mavericks) and Northern Michigan University (Wildcats).
"We are truly looking forward to a tremendous season in 2013-14 and all the excitement and interest that the new-look WCHA will generate," said Commissioner Bruce M. McLeod. "We are extremely pleased with the 28 games per team schedule that will give our fans what they most want, and that's a majority of league games.
"The WCHA promises to be as intense and competitive as ever across the board and with the addition of new and compelling rivalries to those we maintain, our fans across the country are in for a real treat. We also want to extend a warm welcome to all the fans, family, staff, friends and communities of our six newest teams and know they will enjoy the spirit of pride, passion and commitment that has always been a hallmark of the WCHA."
The 140-game conference slate for 2013-14 will have each of the 10 member teams playing 28 WCHA games, 14 at home and 14 away, with the regular season champion being awarded college hockey's most renowned and valuable trophy – the MacNaughton Cup. Each team will play five other league members four times each and four others two times each. The WCHA has had a 28 games per team conference schedule in place since 1997-98.
Ferris State will play its first-ever WCHA series on the road to open the conference schedule next fall on Nov. 1-2 as the Bulldogs visit the league's newest addition in Alabama-Huntsville. The Bulldogs will play their first WCHA home series the following week as Bemidji State, which reached the NCAA Frozen Four only four years ago, makes the trip to Big Rapids for a two-game set. It will mark the first of three consecutive home weekends early in the conference season at the Ewigleben Ice Arena where the Bulldogs have sold out 11 times since late last season, including five times this year while posting one of the top seasonal attendance figures in school history.
The Bulldogs will play all nine fellow conference members at least twice while also squaring off against Michigan Tech, Northern Michigan, Bemidji State, Alaska and Lake Superior State four times each with both two games at home and two on the road.
The first round of the 2014 WCHA playoffs will be contested the weekend of March 14-16 with the WCHA Final Five playoff championship scheduled the weekend of March 20-22 and The Broadmoor Trophy awarded to the WCHA Playoff Champion on the line. The league will announce post-season tournament sites, dates and details at a press conference to be held in two weeks at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul on March 23.
The WCHA was established in 1951 and is one of college hockey's most historic and successful conferences. WCHA member teams have won a record 37 men's NCAA Hockey Championships, finished as the national runner-up 27 times and qualified at least one team for the national championship round in 56 of 61 seasons overall. The 2013-14 season will represent the league's 62nd year of men's hockey competition.
Ferris State, which was a national finalist after reaching the NCAA Frozen Four and winning the CCHA regular-season crown in 2011-12, enters this year's final CCHA Tournament as the fifth overall seed and the Bulldogs will square off against fourth-seeded Ohio State in a best-of-three series at the OSU Ice Rink in Columbus, Ohio, on March 15-17. Both Friday and Saturday's games, along with Sunday if necessary, are slated for 7:05 p.m. (ET) starts. The winner of the second-round series will advance to the 42nd and final CCHA Championships at Joe Louis Arena on March 23-24.
FERRIS STATE'S 2013-14 WCHA SCHEDULE:
Friday-Saturday, November 1-2
Ferris State @ Alabama Huntsville (WCHA)
Friday-Saturday, November 8-9
Bemidji State @ Ferris State (WCHA)
Friday-Saturday, November 15-16
Bowling Green @ Ferris State (WCHA)
Friday-Saturday, November 22-23
Alaska @ Ferris State (WCHA)
Friday-Saturday, November 29-30
Ferris State @ Northern Michigan (WCHA)
Friday-Saturday, December 6-7
Ferris State @ Lake Superior (WCHA)
Friday-Saturday, January 10-11
Michigan Tech @ Ferris State (WCHA)
Friday-Saturday, January 17-18
Ferris State @ Minnesota State (WCHA)
Friday-Saturday, January 24-25
Ferris State @ Michigan Tech (WCHA)
Friday-Saturday, February 7-8
Northern Michigan @ Ferris State (WCHA)
Friday-Saturday, February 14-15
Ferris State @ Bemidji State (WCHA)
Friday-Saturday, February 21-22
Alaska Anchorage @ Ferris State (WCHA)
Friday-Saturday, February 28-March 1
Ferris State @ Alaska (WCHA)
Friday-Saturday, March 7-8
Lake Superior @ Ferris State (WCHA)
March 14-16 • WCHA First Round Playoffs
March 20-22 • WCHA Final Five Playoff Championship
Times To Be Announced - Schedule Subject To Change