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      WCHA announces 2013-14 league schedule

      Courtesy: WCHA

      The men's Western Collegiate Hockey Association's today released a 140-game conference schedule for the upcoming 2013-14 season that will continue the league's long-standing 28 games per team slate and feature all league series being played on the traditional hockey nights of Fridays and Saturdays.

      Included in the schedule is the league's newest full-time member in University of Alabama Huntsville. Known as the 'Hockey Capital of the South', Alabama Huntsville was granted full-time membership into the WCHA family on January 17. The Chargers have been playing NCAA hockey since 1985, won two NCAA Div. II championships in the mid-1990s and have made six national tournament appearances, were former members of College Hockey America and have been competing as a Division 1 independent the past three seasons.

      The addition of Alabama Huntsville gives the WCHA a highly-competitive 10-team league beginning in 2013-14, with membership consisting of University of Alabama Huntsville (Chargers), University of Alaska Anchorage (Seawolves), University of Alaska Fairbanks (Nanooks), Bemidji State University (Beavers), Bowling Green State University (Falcons), Ferris State University (Bulldogs), Lake Superior State University (Lakers), Michigan Technological University (Huskies), Minnesota State University, Mankato (Mavericks) and Northern Michigan University (Wildcats).

      "We are truly looking forward to a tremendous season in 2013-14 and all the excitement and interest that the new-look WCHA will generate," said Commissioner Bruce M. McLeod. "We are extremely pleased with the 28 games per team schedule that will give our fans what they most want, and that's a majority of league games.

      "The WCHA promises to be as intense and competitive as ever across the board and with the addition of new and compelling rivalries to those we maintain, our fans across the country are in for a real treat. We also want to extend a warm welcome to all the fans, family, staff, friends and communities of our six newest teams and know they will enjoy the spirit of pride, passion and commitment that has always been a hallmark of the WCHA."

      The 140-game conference slate for 2013-14 will have each of the 10 member teams playing 28 WCHA games, 14 at home and 14 away, with the regular season champion being awarded college hockey's most renowned and valuable trophy â?? 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.

      Western Collegiate Hockey Association play gets underway the weekend of Friday and Saturday, October 25-26, with a pair of two-game series as the league's newest member, Alabama Huntsville, hosts Bemidji State and a pair of Upper Peninsula rivals face-off when Northern Michigan entertains Michigan Tech.