The Men’s League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), college hockey’s most historic, tradition-rich and successful conference, proudly marks its 67th season of competition in 2018-19.
We Are ... Yesterday’s Heroes
Since 1951, teams representing the WCHA have earned a record 37 men’s national championships and finished as the national runner-up another 27 times. The league has also produced a record 16 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winners, more than 350 All-Americans, 110 Olympians, and more than 450 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League (NHL).
Just a few of the many stars who have worn WCHA jerseys over the years include the likes of John Mayasich, Tony Esposito, Red Berenson, Bill “Red” Hay, Keith Magnuson, Glenn Anderson, Brett Hull, David Backes, Jonathan Toews, Zach Parise, Matt Read, Dany Heatley, Paul Stastny, Curtis Glencross, Phil Kessel and, most recently, 2015-16 NHL All-Rookie Team performer Colton Parayko.
We Are ... Today’s Champions
Entering its fifth season under its current configuration, the WCHA consists of 10 quality institutions that offer the best in both educational and athletic environments: the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the University of Alaska Anchorage, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Bemidji State University, Bowling Green State University, Ferris State University, Lake Superior State University, Michigan Technological University, Minnesota State University and Northern Michigan University.
From the Last Frontier to Ohio, WCHA member institutions boast strong – and sometimes unique – hockey heritages:
|Alabama Huntsville, one of only two Division I hockey teams in the southern United States, saw Huntsville native Josh Kestner rank sixth in the NCAA with 24 goals in 2017-18.|
|Alaska Anchorage, which originally joined the WCHA in 1993, boasts Curtis Glencross, Mike Peluso and Jay Beagle – the only player ever to win the Kelly Cup, Calder Cup and Stanley Cup – as alumni who made it to the NHL.|
|Alaska traces its varsity hockey program to 1925 and counts more than 100 alumni that have played professional hockey, including 2015-16 NHL All-Rookie Team sensation Colton Parayko of the St. Louis Blues.|
|Bemidji State, which advanced to the 2009 NCAA Frozen Four and counts current Minnesota Wild winger Matt Read among its NHL successes, captured its first MacNaughton Cup as WCHA regular season champion in 2016-17.|
|Bowling Green, which has four-straight 20-win seasons and ranks 12th nationally with 89 victories over that span, has an illustrious history that includes the 1984 national championship and alumni Brian MacLellan and George McPhee – architects of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final participants.|
|Ferris State ranks among the nation’s top-20 winningest teams over the past five years, a span in which the Bulldogs have won the MacNaughton Cup, a WCHA playoff championship and made two trips to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament.|
|Lake Superior State, which skated one of the NCAA’s top-scoring groups of underclassmen in 2016-17, was a dynasty during the late 1980s and early 1990s – winning three NCAA championships during a seven-year span.|
|Michigan Tech, a charter member of the WCHA and a three-time national champion, ranks fifth nationally with 97 victories during a run of four-straight 20-win seasons – a stretch that includes back-to-back WCHA playoff championships and three NCAA tournament trips.|
|Minnesota State has built a national powerhouse with an NCAA-best 151 victories over a program-record six-consecutive 20-win seasons, while the Mavericks have hoisted the MacNaughton Cup three times in the last four years.|
|Northern Michigan, which was a member of the WCHA when it won the NCAA championship in 1991, returned to prominence in 2017-18 with its first 25-win season since 2001-02.|
We Are ... Tomorrow’s Legends
With 10 programs committed to on- and off-ice excellence, playing in front of the sport’s most passionate fans, this much is certain: The WCHA, like it has been for seven decades, is home to an exemplary student-athlete experience, a thrilling fan environment and world-class college hockey.
We Are… The WCHA – Tradition Starts Here.