WCHA/USA Hockey/University of Minnesota Release

The WCHA, USA Hockey and the University of Minnesota all made major announcements this weekend during the Final Five in St. Paul.  A brief overview can be found below...


The WCHA unveils a revised logo for the upcoming season.

The WCHA logo will be changed for the upcoming season.  Commissioner Bruce McLeod felt as though since the league will have a new look, the logo should as well.

The "skater" will be moved to the left side of the logo, representing a new coming for the league, rather than the skater leaving.  The "W" in the logo is also sporting a slight curve going up the left side, above the skater's shoulder.

The company that the league worked with is called Adrenalin, located in Denver, CO.  It is the exact same company who designed the NCHC logo as well.
"The powerful, eye-catching and colorful update to our brand identity keeps the WCHA out front and on track as we move into a new era," said McLeod.
The WCHA will consist of Alabama-Huntsville, Alaska-Anchorage, Alaska-Fairbanks, Bemidji State, Bowling Green, Ferris State, Lake Superior, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State and Northern Michigan.

The WCHA Announces playoff championship to be played in Grand Rapids in 2014 & 2016, St. Paul in 2015 & 2017; Revised playoff format outlined.

The Final Five will head to Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan next year and alternate with the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota until 2017.
"We couldn't be more pleased to be able to host the best conference post-season hockey tournament in the country in two of the premier facilities in the midwest," said McLeod.
The larger Xcel Energy Center is expected to continue to sell-out and the medium-sized Van Andel Arena is also to predicted to draw a large amount of fans.

With a new arena added to the list, a new logo and new teams, playoff revisions were made as well.

The top eight teams that finish in highest in league play will advance to the playoffs, leaving the bottom two teams out.  The top four teams will host the bottom four, much like how home-ice is done now in the WCHA, in which teams compete in a best of three game series.

The winners advance to the WCHA Playoff Championship that will consist of two semi-final games on the first day, followed by the Broadmoor Title Game the next day.

U of MN -

The University of Minnesota, in conjunction with Bemidji State, University, Minnesota State University-Mankato, St. Cloud State and the University of Minnesota Duluth announced plans for an annual tournament beginning in 2014 that features all five of Minnesota’s division 1 hockey programs.
"Although we are relocating to a new league next fall, we didn't want to see our great rivalries with the four other in-state Division 1 programs - many of which began 50 or more years ago - come to an end," said Minnesota Duluth coach Scott Sandelin.
 Dates have been set for January 24th and 25th 2014 with Minnesota, Minnesota-State, St. Cloud and Minnesota-Duluth all taking part in the initial drop of the puck, while Bemidji State sits out. The Gophers will be permanent hosts while the other teams rotate over an initial four-year schedule.

St. Cloud will sit out in 2015, Minnesota-Duluth in 2016 and Minnesota-State in 2017.
“This new tournament at the Xcel Energy Center will be great for all five programs and great for the entire state of Minnesota,” said Minnesota coach Don Lucia. 

The fans will decide the name of the tournament in a contest later this spring.   A trophy will be awarded to the winner of the event and the schools hope to find a television home for the contest as well, but details have yet to be finalized.

When the question was asked why Minnesota isn't sitting out, the answer spelt nothing less than arrogance, and I almost felt embarrassed for the guy sitting at the mic.  Minnesota is "too valuable" to be left out.

To be honest, I think the other programs should find this insulting.  The fact that one program believes they are better than the rest is preposterous, but this is based around money.

USA Hockey -

USA Hockey announced that Minnesota's Don Lucia will coach the 2014 US World Junior hockey team.

Lucia spent time in Lake Placid last summer, learning the process and evaluating the steps necissary in coaching a national team.  He picked St. Cloud State's head coach Bob Motzko to be his assistant coach during this time.

Lucia announced that he will only miss the team's Christmas tournament, which will result in two games. 


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