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July 15, 2011 E-MAIL PRINT Bookmark and Share

Moorhead State 40 Percent to Goal of Funding D-I Hockey

CHN Staff Report

Minnesota State-Moorhead, a Division II school currently without varsity hockey, has announced its strongest move yet towards forming a Division I men's and women's program.

At a news conference Friday afternoon, Moorhead's president and athletic director announced that the school has raised 40 percent of a necessary $37 million endowment to fund a men's and women's program. School officials say they have given themselves a three-month window to decide the future of a hockey program.

"In chaos there is opportunity," Moorhead president Edna Mora-Szymanski said about the current state of college hockey. The recent announcements of two new leagues, that will leave the WCHA with just five teams in 2013-14 barring other changes, leaves an opening for schools like Moorhead to get into the mix.

Though Moorhead officials said they hadn't yet spoke to WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod about entrance, Mora-Szymanski said, "They may need us as much as we need them."

It was not stated when the programs would begin, if it comes to fruition. If there is a program, however, it is expected to play at the 5,000-seat Scheels Arena in nearby Fargo, N.D. That building is currently home to the USHL's Fargo Force.

Also present at the news conference were athletic director Doug Peters, and Jan Mahoney, vice president of finance and administration.

Minnesota State, St. Cloud State, North Dakota, Nebraska-Omaha, Bemidji State and Minnesota-Duluth are current WCHA schools that are — like Moorhead — Division II institutions. Minnesota-Duluth, North Dakota and Nebraska-Omaha are all moving to the new NCHC in two years. North Dakota and Nebraska-Omaha are currently transitioning to Division I across the board.

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