WCHA Announces Playoff Championship to be Played in Grand Rapids in 2014 & 2016, Saint Paul in 2015 & 2017
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Western Collegiate Hockey Association today announced that its highly-successful men’s playoff championship – known as the WCHA Final Five – will head to Van Andel Arena and the City of Grand Rapids, Mich., for the 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons and will return to Xcel Energy Center and the City of Saint Paul, Minn., for the 2014-15 and 2016-17 campaigns.

“We just 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 WCHA Commissioner Bruce McLeod. “We are tremendously excited to bring WCHA championship hockey and the quest for the Broadmoor Trophy to Grand Rapids as well as continue our long-standing tradition and success of playing in Saint Paul.

“Both Grand Rapids and Saint Paul are wonderful travel destinations for fans, featuring first-class arenas centered in exciting downtown areas with noteworthy tourist attractions, great shopping, and fine hotels and restaurants. In Grand Rapids, we have the proximity of our Michigan-based WCHA teams and in Saint Paul of our Minnesota-based schools. This is truly the best of both worlds for us.”

“The city of Grand Rapids, the West Michigan Sports Commission and Van Andel Arena all look forward to hosting the WCHA in 2014,” said Richard MacKeigan, Regional General Manager of Van Andel Arena. “Hockey in general and college hockey specifically is a passion for West Michigan and we look forward to working with the WCHA to share that passion with the players, coaches and fans. We know your experience will be a great one in Grand Rapids, March of 2014!”

“We are pleased to once again partner with the WCHA on their championship tournament,” said Xcel Energy Center Vice President and General Manager Jack Larson. “We have a long-standing tremendously successful relationship with them, and we are committed to building on this foundation for years to come.”

The men’s WCHA will sport an exciting and highly-competitive 10-team league next season, with membership consisting of University of Alabama Huntsville, University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Bemidji State University, Bowling Green State University, Ferris State University, Lake Superior State University, Michigan Technological University, Minnesota State University, Mankato and Northern Michigan University.

Along with the announcement of future championship sites, the league also unveiled both a new post-season playoff format for the upcoming 2013-14 season that will feature the top eight teams in the final regular season standings engaging in first-round, best-of-three playoff series at the home site of the top four finishers, followed by the four first-round winners advancing to the WCHA Playoff Championship the following weekend, which would consist of two semifinal games on the first day of the event followed by the Broadmoor Trophy title contest on day two. The dates of the 2014 WCHA Final Five at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids are March 21-22 (Friday/Saturday) with the return to Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul for the 2015 WCHA Playoff Championship set for March 20-21 (Friday/Saturday).

The WCHA tournament will follow the league’s 140-game conference slate that will have each of the 10 teams playing 28 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.

“We are looking forward to a tremendous season in 2013-14 and all the excitement and interest that the new-look WCHA will generate,” said McLeod. “This new post-season tournament format will make for an ultra-competitive regular season race among the 10 teams, followed by our traditional first-round, best-of-three playoff series and then the ultimate reward of playing for the Broadmoor Trophy and an automatic berth into the national tournament in two of the premier hockey venues in the country. We are all enthused and we are ready and rarin’ to go.”

The WCHA Final Five will alternate between those two midwestern venues, with the newly-formed Big Ten Conference playing their post-season event at Xcel Energy Center every other year beginning in 2014. Xcel Energy Center has been home to the WCHA Final Five since 2001 and the WCHA has held a men’s post-season tournament annually since 1959-60, although in a number of different formats.

Western Collegiate Hockey Association Unveils Powerful Revisions to Iconic Logo for 2013-14

MADISON, Wis. – The Western Collegiate Hockey Association, college hockey’s most historic and successful league and owners of a record 37 national championships since its founding in 1951, today unveiled a dramatic new look to the league’s iconic logo, one that catapults the Association into an invigorating new era in 2013-14.

The WCHA, which will sport a highly-competitive, new-look 10-team men’s league next season, has continued to build on a successful decade-long relationship with Adrenalin, Inc., one of the country’s top design, marketing and brand expansion teams. Adrenalin, Inc., was a key player for the league throughout it’s season-long 50th anniversary campaign of 2001-02.

“This 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 WCHA Commissioner Bruce McLeod. “With this unveiling today we carry on our mission of both honoring our distinguished past and setting the stage for the continued success of our brand in the future. We sincerely appreciate and commend the efforts of Dan Price and the top-notch team at Adrenalin, Inc.”

“College hockey is going through significant changes with the WCHA right in the thick of it all,” said Dan Price, Principal/President of Adrenalin, Inc. “When redesigning the WCHA logo and working on their visual identity, recognizing their historic standing as the winningest college hockey conference was of the upmost importance. Working with Bruce and his staff members, Adrenalin determined that their logo was not in need of an overhaul, but that a few minor adjustments would be necessary in order for the logo to accurately represent the conference as a continued leader. By moving the player from the right to the left side of the logo, the message is clear that the WCHA puts the players first and that exciting times are ahead – for them and the WCHA. Adding red as a third color addresses the aggressive and powerful style of hockey that is played in the conference. It was a pleasure working with Bruce and his group to deliver a winning mark.”