- Tradition Starts Here: The Men's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) proudly drops the puck on its 67th season this weekend.
- The WCHA is coming off a 2017-18 campaign that saw it send two teams to the NCAA regionals (Minnesota State and Michigan Tech), join Hockey East as one of two conferences to produce a quartet of 20-win teams (MSU, Northern Michigan, Bowling Green and MTU), land three teams in the final national polls (No. 9 MSU, No. 16 MTU and No. 20 NMU), produce three All-Americans (MSU's C.J. Suess, NMU's Philip Beaulieu and BGSU's Alec Rauhauser) and have 24 players (from all 10 schools) sign professional contracts.
- Among the Best: Four (4) of the nation's top-20 winningest teams since the 2013-14 realignment play in the WCHA, including three in the top-15.
- Minnesota State has gone 127-58-16 (.672) to lead all NCAA Division I men's hockey programs in victories over the last five seasons.
- Michigan Tech (111-70-26, .599) is tied with Notre Dame for 10th, Bowling Green (107-70-25, .592) is tied with Air Force and Robert Morris for 14th, and Ferris State (94-88-17, .515) is tied with Clarkson for 20th.
- Mavericks Open as Favorites: The highly-competitive WCHA has seen four teams win the MacNaughton Cup in its first five seasons with current membership, but defending regular season champion Minnesota State is picked to repeat by the league's coaches and media.
- The Mavericks also open at No. 10 in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls, followed by No. 18 Michigan Tech and No. 20 Northern Michigan (Bowling Green is receiving votes).
- Taking the Reins in The Last Frontier: The WCHA is excited to welcome two new head coaches for the 2018-19 season, as Matt Curley takes charge in Alaska Anchorage and Erik Largen ascends to the top role at Alaska.
- Largen (31 years old) and Curley (35) will be the second- and third-youngest head coaches, respectively, in NCAA Division I men's hockey.
- FloHockey.tv: The WCHA is proud to launch a new, multiyear partnership with FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, to stream every game hosted by a WCHA member institution live and on-demand exclusively on FloHockey.tv.
- More than 180 WCHA games, from opening night through the WCHA Championship, along with original programming, studio shows and other hockey content, are available via a monthly or annual PRO pass to FloSports and can be viewed live (or on-demand) on iOS, Roku or Apple TV 4.
The Week Ahead
- Nonconference Tests: Five (5) WCHA teams open their season with nonconference games this weekend.
- A pair of teams skate against NCHC opponents, as Alabama Huntsville travels to Ohio to face Miami on Saturday-Sunday, while Alaska Anchorage welcomes Colorado College for a two-game set on FloHockey.tv.
- Bowling Green plays a single contest Saturday at Mercyhurst (Atlantic Hockey), while Lake Superior State has a pair of games at Merrimack (Hockey East). Alaska is also on the road, opening at Arizona State.
- Exhibitions: Another three WCHA programs host exhibition games.
- Ferris State plays the U.S. Under-18 Team on Saturday and Lethbridge on Sunday, while Bemidji State (vs. Lakehead) and Minnesota State (vs. Mount Royal) skate Saturday evening. The last four are on FloHockey.tv.