Bemidji State, WCHA Reach Scheduling Agreement
CHN Staff Report
BEMIDJI, Minn. Bemidji State and the WCHA have announced a future scheduling agreement.
Beginning with the 2010-11 season, and in conjunction with the opening of the Bemidji Regional Events Center, the WCHA will include in its annual composite schedule guaranteed home contests in men's ice hockey at Bemidji State.
"We're pleased that we have been able to successfully pursue this agreement with the WCHA," Bemidji State President Dr. Jon Quistgaard said. "We view this agreement as the first step in developing an even closer relationship between Bemidji State University and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association."
Bemidji State said its goal is to play an annual 12-game, non-conference, schedule against members of the WCHA with an even split of home and road contests. However, no specific details regarding the scheduling agreement have been finalized at this time.
Bemidji State is a member of NCAA Division I in men's and women's ice hockey. Its men's program competes as a member of College Hockey America, while its women's team was a charter member of the WCHA women's league, which it has called home since 1998.
The CHA is in jeopardy because of the pending elimination of Wayne State's program. That will bring the total CHA teams down to four, and therefore eliminate the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. With that, the remaining conference teams — BSU, Alabama-Huntsville, Niagara and Robert Morris — may elect to disband. At the very least, that would jeopardize the future validity of those four programs.
BSU Director of Athletics Dr. Rick Goeb added, "This is a positive step for Bemidji State University and its hockey program. It helps us in reaching our goal of attaining more home games and additional games against one of the premier hockey conferences in the country — the WCHA."
"The WCHA congratulates the City of Bemidji and Bemidji State University on their commitment to build a new ice hockey facility," WCHA officials said in a statement released today. "[The WCHA] looks forward to helping showcase the sport at the highest level to the citizens of Bemidji, Minn."