BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – March 14, 2021 – The race for the Jeff Sauer WCHA Championship Trophy is down to four teams as the 2021 Western Collegiate Hockey Association Postseason moves to the WCHA Championship, March 19-20, at the Mayo Clinic Health Systems Event Center in Mankato, Minn.
The top two tournament seeds - No. 1 Minnesota State and No. 2 Lake Superior State – will be joined in Mankato by No. 4 seed Bemidji State and No. 6 seed Northern Michigan.
The winner of the 2021 WCHA Championship receives the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship.
Next weekend's WCHA Championship will open with semifinals on Friday, March 19:
Semifinal 1: No. 6 Northern Michigan vs. No. 1 Minnesota State- 2:07 p.m. CT
Semifinal 2: No. 4 Bemidji State vs. No. 2 Lake Superior State- 7:37 p.m. CT
Friday's semifinal winners will advance to Saturday's WCHA Championship game at 7:07 p.m. CT.
All three contests will stream live on FloHockey.tv.
Nationally third-ranked Minnesota State (20-3-1 overall/13-1-0-1-1-0 WCHA, 39 points), swept No. 8 seed Ferris State, 3-0 and 3-1, last weekend to advance and will face No. 6 seed Northern Michigan (9-16-1/6-7-1-2-2-1 WCHA, 20 pts), which advanced with a three-game upset of third-seeded Bowling Green. The Wildcats downed the Falcons, 4-3, on Friday before BGSU rallied for a 5-0 win Saturday to force a deciding third game. Northern jumped out to an early lead in the series finale and cruised to a 5-1 win to earn the trip to Mankato. The Mavericks swept the only series between the two teams this season by scores of 4-0 and 5-0 in Marquette on Jan. 2-3. This will be Minnesota State's sixth trip to the WCHA semifinals since the 2013-14 season and their eighth trip all-time. NMU is making its second semifinal appearance in three seasons and its eighth in the program's WCHA history.
Lake Superior State (17-6-3/9-5-0-2-2-0 WCHA, 27 points) enters the WCHA Championship having won 11 of its last 14 contests, including a two-game sweep of seventh-seeded Alabama Huntsville in the WCHA Quarterfinals. The Lakers will face No. 4 seed Bemidji State, which dispatched fifth-seeded Michigan Tech by scores of 3-1 and 4-1 to advance. The Beavers finished 2-1-1 against Lake State in four meetings this season with the team splitting their WCHA league series March 2-3 in Bemidji and BSU taking a 4-1 decision from the Lakers in non-league series Jan. 2 in Sault Ste. Marie before LSSU rallied for a 2-2 tie the following day. This will mark the second WCHA semifinal appearance all-time for Lake Superior State and the third for Bemidji State.
2021 WCHA Postseason Tournament, presented by SPIRE Credit Union
The WCHA will crown a playoff champion at the WCHA Postseason Tournament, presented by SPIRE Credit Union. The tournament winner will receive an automatic bid to the 2021 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship.
Jeff Sauer WCHA Championship Trophy, presented by Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup
The winner of the 2021 WCHA Postseason tournament will once again receive the Jeff Sauer WCHA Championship Trophy, presented by Anderson's Pure Maple Syrup.
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, is marking 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.