WCHA Press Releases

Bemidji State opens by hosting two-time defending national champion and preseason No. 1 Clarkson
WCHA Week 1: WCHA’s 20th Anniversary Season Begins
The Puck Drops On The 2018-19 Season With Seven Nonconference Series

Opening Faceoff

- 20 Years of Excellence: The Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary season in 2018-19, honoring 20 Years of Excellence as the nation's premier women's college hockey conference.

  • Home to a record 16 national championships (one AWCHA crown and 15 NCAA Frozen Four titles), seven Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winners, numerous Olympic and national team heroes, and countless young women inspired, the WCHA is proud to honor yesterday's heroes, today's teammates and tomorrow's legends. We are Leaders and Champions. We are the WCHA.
  • Each student-athlete competing in the WCHA this season will wear a 20th Anniversary helmet sticker. The league will also unveil its 20-member WCHA 20th Anniversary Team, with fan voting starting Oct. 1.

- Polling Place: The WCHA leads all NCAA D-I conferences with four teams in the preseason USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls: No. 2 Wisconsin, No. 3 Minnesota, No. 7 Ohio State and No. 9 Minnesota Duluth.

- FloHockey.tv: The WCHA is the nation's first women's hockey conference to offer a live streaming platform that features each of its member teams, launching an exclusive partnership with FloHockey.tv for the 2018-19 season. With a monthly or annual pass, FloSports subscribers receive access to WCHA hockey from opening night through the 2019 Final Faceoff, along with original programming, studio shows and other hockey content -- all available on iOS, Roku or Apple TV 4.

  • FloHockey.tv will stream every game (live and on-demand) hosted by Bemidji State, Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State and St. Cloud State, along with the WCHA Final Faceoff tournament. FloHockey.tv also offers access to games hosted by Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin that are also available on BTN Plus.

- Mark Your Calendars: In addition to the nightly excellence in WCHA rinks, the league is excited for several special events throughout the 2018-19 season.

  • Bemidji State and St. Cloud State will play in the annual U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Face-off Classic, set for Nov. 20 in Brainerd, Minn.
  • Bemidji is hosting Hockey Day Minnesota 2019, with the Beavers and Minnesota State playing outdoors on the shores of Lake Bemidji on Jan. 19.
  • The inaugural Minnesota Cup tournament will take place Jan. 5-6 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. The two-day, four-team event features Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State, St. Cloud State and the host Gophers.
  • The 2019 WCHA Final Faceoff returns to Ridder Arena in Minneapolis on March 9-10.

By the Numbers

- 4: Returning 2018 Olympians to WCHA ice: St. Cloud State junior goaltender Janine Alder (Switzerland), Wisconsin redshirt-senior forward Emily Clark (a Canadian silver medalist), and United States gold medalists Kelly Pannek (redshirt-senior forward at Minnesota) and Maddie Rooney (redshirt-junior goaltender at Minnesota Duluth).

  • Additionally, a trio of players who were centralized with their national teams last season also return to the WCHA: Minnesota's Amy and Sarah Potomak (Canada) and Wisconsin's Annie Pankowski (USA).

- 7: Straight seasons that WCHA teams have ranked 1-3 nationally in attendance. Last season, Wisconsin drew 38,505 fans (2,265 per game) for 17 games at LaBahn Arena, Minnesota welcomed 32,753 (1,629) over 20 dates at Ridder Arena, while 19,769 fans (1,163) saw contests at Minnesota Duluth's AMSOIL Arena.

The Week Ahead

- Nonconference Tests: The WCHA officially drops the puck on its 20th Anniversary season Sept. 28-30, with all seven teams playing nonconference series (five at home and two on the road).

  • Opening weekend includes two top-10 matchups, as No. 3 Minnesota hosts No. 10 Mercyhurst and No. 9 Minnesota Duluth welcomes No. 4 Boston College.
  • Bemidji State opens by hosting two-time defending national champion and preseason No. 1 Clarkson, while No. 2 Wisconsin (with a 29-game home unbeaten streak and an all-time mark of 17-0-1 in September contests) plays at home against Lindenwood and Minnesota State hosts Rensselaer.
  • No. 7 Ohio State begins on the road at Quinnipiac, while St. Cloud State also ventures east to face UConn.