The world got a little smaller for the Bulldogs as the news came out about the 2021 resurrection of the CCHA.
When it was announced that the CCHA conference was realigning, there was a silent cheer for all of those who didn’t want to travel to Alaska to watch the Bulldogs. Seven schools have agreed to reform the conference including Bemidji State, Bowling Green, Ferris, Lake Superior State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State and Northern Michigan.
Not included in the initial school release were the likes of Alaska and Alaska-Anchorage, along with Alabama-Huntsville. This cuts nearly 6,500 miles of travel from the schedule along with several weeks away from home.
It is not known yet who else, if anyone else, is going to join the conference.
Ferris athletics were contacted to but were unavailable to comment as all schools are directing questions to sole spokesperson Dr. Morris Kurtz. Kurtz is an athletics and hockey consultant who has been part of the process since its inception.
If the CCHA league name sounds familiar, that’s because the Bulldogs have been a part of the conference since 1979 until the league’s dissolution in 2013. The league was founded in 1971 making its return in 2021 even more special as the league will be celebrating 50 years since its inception. Currently, the league has no official commissioner, a position that the league hopes to have in place by Wednesday, July 1.
The new conference will be bringing a lot of fire power with the seven schools having a combined 8 national championships between them. Michigan Tech and Lake Superior State have three each while Northern Michigan and Bowling Green have one national championship apiece.
Unlike the past iteration of the CCHA, Ferris State will not have to worry about the appearance of Big Ten programs. Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, and Notre Dame were all in the conference more than 30 years prior to forming the Big Ten conference in hockey.
This move does make the competition harder for the struggling hockey team. Alabama-Huntsville was the sole team the finished below the Bulldogs in the WCHA conference standings while Alaska-Anchorage held the eighth spot by four points over Ferris State.
Luckily, this conference is still a season away, giving the Bulldogs a year to improve their standing in the WCHA before the re-alliance increases competition.