WMU Hockey starts new chapter in new conference

Oct 11, 2013

File photo
Credit GS Photo/WMU Media Relations

Kalamazoo Gazette reporter David Drew says realignment in college hockey has brought Western Michigan University into what he considers the toughest conference in the country

The Broncos will play in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference beginning this season. The Big Ten's decision to launch a hockey conference meant long-time CCHA members Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan would be leaving. As teams went looking for new conferences, Western and long-time CCHA rival Miami of Ohio landed in the NCHC with perennial hockey powers North Dakota and Denver. 

Drew says that will mean for travel for the Broncos, most trips for conference series will involve flying. Most trips in the CCHA could be made by bus. 

On the ice, Drew says Western has to replace two very good defensemen, Luke Witkowski and Danny DeKeyser. He says the Broncos will be playing more young players on the blue line. Drew says Western may rely more on junior goaltender Frank Slubowski. And he says the Broncos should be better on offense.

Western Michigan opens the season at Notre Dame Friday night. The two teams play at Lawson Ice Arena Saturday night