Apr 11, 2013 8:50 PM by Greg Smith
Colorado College has been one of the most successful teams in college hockey for years, but now comes their biggest change since the program began. The Tigers are moving out of the only conference they've ever known.
A wild ending to CC's 2013 season also marked the end of their time in the WCHA.
After being with the Western Collegiate Hockey Conference since its creation in the 50's, the Tigers are moving on to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
When the Big 10 formed its own conference, Minneota and Wisconsin left, forcing the six remaining teams to make a tough decision.
"They wanted to start a new league," says NCHC Commissioner Jim Scherr. "One that would be founded upon a commitment to excellence, a commitment to integrity, and a committment to being the very best in collegiate hockey."
"I think a lot of us had to really rethink the future of our conference," says CC Athletic Director Ken Ralph. "We had an opportunity to join up with North Dakota, and Denver, and other quality institutions to form a new league."
Once the nostalgia wears off, its clear the NCHC may be a good move.
"For us, the league is actually a little bit easier." says Ralph. "The travel is easier. The arenas we go to are easier. The level of professionalism is outstanding. We're looking forward to the move."
You may see some new opponents on the ice, but one thing that won't change is the level of play.
"We played the number one schedule in the country this year," says Ralph. "Our fans are very sophisticated, We owe that to them. But we also owe it to the players in our program to make sure they get a chance to see the best competition week in, and week out. You don't come to CC to be average, and we want make sure our students always have access to the best."
"Top to bottom, this will be the strongest conference in collegiate hockey."