BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – May 6, 2020 – The annual 140-game quest for the MacNaughton Cup and the fifth installment of the league's on-campus postseason tournament highlight the 2020-21 composite league schedule for the Men's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
The composite schedule for the WCHA's 69th season outlines league game dates and opponents for the league's 10 member institutions. Non-conference games and start times will be announced at a later date. The schedule is subject to change pending a final decision on the start of the 2020-21 competition year.
The chase for the MacNaughton Cup will play out over 20 weekends, beginning with the Lake Superior State-Alaska series on the season's opening weekend, Oct. 3-4. There are five weekends that feature a full slate of five league series: Nov. 6-7, Dec. 4-6, Jan. 8-9, Feb. 5-6 and the closing weekend of the 2020-21 regular season – Feb. 26-27.
Each member institution will play a total of 28 WCHA games (14 at home and 14 on the road). Teams play five other league members four times each and four others two times each.
Among the highlights:
- Lake Superior State and Alaska will kick off the WCHA league slate when the Lakers travel to the 49th State to face the Nanooks, Oct. 3-4, to open the regular season.
- Defending MacNaughton Cup champion Minnesota State begins its quest for its sixth regular season title in seven seasons and an unprecedented fourth outright title in a row when it visits Alaska, Oct. 23-24.
- Nov. 6-7 will mark the first full weekend of WCHA play as all 10 league schools will square off in conference series – Bemidji State at Alaska Anchorage, Alaska at Lake Superior State, Michigan Tech at Alabama Huntsville, Ferris State at Bowling Green and Northern Michigan at Minnesota State.
- Minnesota State and Bemidji State will meet for the first time since their final weekend battle for the MacNaughton Cup from last season on Nov. 13-14 in Bemidji. The Beavers will also visit Mankato, Feb. 26-27, to conclude the regular season.
- Michigan Tech's annual Winter Carnival Series is set for Feb. 5-6 when Alabama Huntsville visits Houghton.
- Alaska Anchorage and Alaska will play in the annual Alaska Airlines Governor's Cup, facing off Dec. 5-6 in Fairbanks and Feb. 26-27 in Anchorage.
- The Cappo Cup, awarded each year to the winner of the Lake Superior State-Northern Michigan series, will be decided Jan. 8-9 in Marquette, Mich.
- The final weekend of the regular season, which annually factors in the outcome of multiple WCHA postseason races, features the Alaska (UAF at UAA) and UP rivalries (NMU-MTU in a home-and-home matchup), along with Alabama Huntsville at Bowling Green, Ferris State at Lake Superior State and Bemidji State at Minnesota State.
2021 WCHA Postseason Tournament
The last four seasons have produced epic WCHA Championship moments and vivid scenes of overtime winners and underdog triumphs – all before frenzied, capacity crowds in hometown rinks. Once again in 2021, the WCHA will bring the singular intensity and passion of playoff college hockey directly to its member institution fans with an eight-team, three-round tournament hosted on-campus by the highest remaining seeds.
The 2021 WCHA Playoffs will consist of four best-of-three, quarterfinal-round series hosted by the league's top four regular-season finishers the weekend of March 5-7, followed by two best-of-three semifinal-round series hosted by the highest remaining seeds the weekend of March 12-14. The 2021 WCHA Championship will be a single game, hosted by the highest remaining seed, Saturday, March 20.
The postseason tournament winner will receive an automatic bid to the 2021 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship and the Jeff Sauer WCHA Championship Trophy, presented by Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup.
Fans can catch all the WCHA action live on FloHockey.tv again this season.
About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Men's League
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association, among the most historic, tradition-rich and successful conferences in all of collegiate athletics, will mark its 69th season of men's competition in 2020-21. The 10-team NCAA Division I conference consists of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Chargers), the University of Alaska Anchorage (Seawolves), the University of Alaska (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 (Mavericks) and Northern Michigan University (Wildcats). For more information, visit wcha.com.