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Air Force Falcons, Colorado College Tiger Hockey, Local Sports

College Hockey’s Seismic Shift Begins Today in Colorado Springs

The banners at the World Arena will look different in 2013

Update: The National Collegiate Hockey Conference was announced at the Penrose House in Colorado Springs this morning. Read CC’s press release here http://fb.me/BxCmWbb4

College hockey is one sport that seems to have remained “pure” while college football has become a corporate behemoth muddied in corruption and greed. Sure the tournament is played in giant NHL arenas that only fill up 30% but hey, it’s better than schools continually being stripped of titles and vacating wins…right?!

It’s because of this pureness that college hockey tends to vanish from the radar during the summer, even with the most devoted fans.

Well now some of that college football greed and selfishness has crept in and brought college hockey to the forefront in July. It begins with today’s announcement the of the college hockey “super conference” (idiotic name, more later) at the Broadmoor (rumor) in Colorado Springs (wahoo!).

The new league will consist of Colorado College, University of Denver, North Dakota, Minnesota-Duluth, and Nebraska-Omaha from the WCHA and Miami (OH) from the CCHA with the rumor of Western Michigan and Notre Dame in the mix by the end of the summer. The league will begin play in 2013 when the Big 10 begins their first season (the reason this all started in the first place). What of the WCHA and CCHA? Originally, media “experts” thought they might merge. On Friday, it looked like Northern Michigan and Alaska-Fairbanks were headed to the WCHA. So much for that.

My thoughts: the biggest question, of course, is why in the world would these teams leave the WCHA? Even with Minnesota and Wisconsin heading to the Big 10, they still had 10 teams and a scheduling agreement to still play the Big 10ers. (I think this article hits the nail on the head) Hopefully that will come out soon, though I doubt it will be today since the new league doesn’t begin for 2 seasons and the schools left behind are spitting mad.

Second, if the press conference is in Colorado Springs (rumored to be at the Broadmoor) then does that mean the new league will be headquartered here? AND, would that mean the conference tournament would be here each year? The World Arena isn’t the biggest hockey venue (about 7,600 packed tightly) but it’s certainly an amazing hockey venue with a picture-perfect backdrop. It would be a HUGE win for Colorado Springs, already home to a huge faction of Olympic resources and youth/amateur sports. The only town/arena/setting I could see competing is Omaha at the Qwest…er CenturyLink…center? but UNO is moving out of that soon. Another plus for Colorado Springs; the Broadmoor Trophy. Given to the winner of the WCHA tournament (and something CC has never won) it would make perfect sense to bring it back to the city it came from.

Third: all of these teams made the NCAA Tournament last season, an entire conference can’t do that so these feels a little like cannibalizes your own. If Boston College and Boston University had accepted their invitations, if would have been a meat-grinder with fangs.

Fourth: Big kudos to Trev Alberts (even if he’s a Husker, I think he’s incredibly annoying) for selling UNO. The new kid on the college hockey block has played their cards right and earned a seat with the big boys in a very short time. Don’t embarrass us.

And great for CC, easily the smallest school in the mix and almost got sent to DIII fairly recently, as they will continue to be relevant and ensure that Colorado Springs will still have two great college hockey programs.

And finally: where did the name “super conference” come from? It’s 6 teams, not 26. It’s stupid. Here’s to hoping they have a better name, and don’t drop a historic fail with the logo like another Colorado Springs-based conference did recently.

As for the 11am Mountain Time press conference, you can watch it live at this link, ya know, if you have nothing to do at work:
http://www.b2livetv.com/freeliveevent/events/07132011/press.asp
And here are some links to the coverage leading up to today’s announcement.

National
College Hockey News
Inside College Hockey
USCHO

Colorado Springs Media
Some of the reasons “why”
Confirmed
Only a rumor

Denver Media
It’s official
CC, DU might leave WCHA

Omaha Media
Opinion: In, out all that matters
Mavs new league set while some are upset
Done deal
UNO could join “super conference”

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All content and images uploaded to Pikes Peak Life are property of Peter C Obering unless otherwise stated. Feel free to share my images across the Internet but do not claim them as your own or I will come after you with a Christmas goose and hit you across your thieving face ;)
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