EDINA, Minn. – Feb. 19, 2016 – With one full day remaining in the 2015-16 regular season schedule, the pairings have been set for the first round of the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) playoffs, to be held at the home sites of seeds 1-4 the weekend of Feb. 26-28. All four series are best-of-three, with the winners advancing to the 2016 WCHA Final Face-Off, held March 5 and 6 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.
The winner of the 2016 WCHA Final Face-Off receives the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
The 2016 WCHA playoffs first round pairings and starting times (team's seed is in parentheses):
Games for Friday, Feb. 26: (8) Minnesota State at (1) Wisconsin, 7:07 p.m. CT; (7) Ohio State at (2) Minnesota, 7:07 p.m. CT; (6) Minnesota Duluth at (3) Bemidji State, 2:07 p.m. CT; (5) St. Cloud State at (4) North Dakota, 2:37 p.m. CT.
Games for Saturday, Feb. 27: Minnesota State at Wisconsin, 4:07 p.m. CT; Ohio State at Minnesota, 4:07 p.m. CT; Minnesota Duluth at Bemidji State, 2:07 p.m. CT; St. Cloud State at North Dakota, 2:37 p.m. CT.
Games for Sunday, Feb. 28 (if necessary): Minnesota State at Wisconsin, 2:07 p.m. CT; Ohio State at Minnesota, 2:07 p.m. CT; Minnesota Duluth at Bemidji State, 2:07 p.m. CT; St. Cloud State at North Dakota, 2:37 p.m. CT.
2016 WCHA Final Face-Off; Ridder Arena, Minneapolis
Semifinal games of Saturday, March 5
(First round winners re-seeded by order of regular season finish)
No. 4 seed vs. No. 1 seed, 2:07 p.m. CT
No. 3 seed vs. No. 2 seed, 5:07 p.m. CT
Championship Game – Sunday, March 6
Semifinal #1 winner vs. Semifinal #2 winner – 2:07 p.m. CT
Nationally second-ranked Wisconsin won its fifth WCHA regular season championship in program history, while No. 7 Bemidji State earned the Beavers' highest-ever league playoff seed. No. 3 Minnesota and No. 9 North Dakota round out the host schools, while St. Cloud State's fifth-place finish was its highest since the 2009-10 season (third).
2016 WCHA Final Face-Off
The premier conference tournament in women's college hockey is returning to the sport's most iconic venue, as the 2016 WCHA Final Face-Off will be held March 5 and 6 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. All-tournament packages or single-season tickets are available for purchase directly through the Gopher Sales & Service Department; in-person at Mariucci Arena (during regular office hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT, Monday-Friday) or during all Gopher Women's Hockey games, via phone at 612-624-8080 (Option 2) or online here.