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WCHL Wraparound - January 26, 2016 Featured

Post 25 January 2016 By In Around the League

With the season coming down to the last few weeks of play, what better time to issue the first installment of this season’s WCHL Wraparound?  Better late than never, right?  Anyway, we hope to make up for the lack of posting with a Wraparound so full of news and info that your head will spin! Let’s get started, shall we?

LEAGUE OF CHAMPIONS – Before we get too deep into what’s going on this season, allow us to gloat for a brief second.  The WCHL is the home of the past two ACHA D1 National Champions:  Arizona State in 2013-2014 and Central Oklahoma in 2014-2015.  We catch a lot of grief for being the “new kid on the block” in the ACHA, for our non-traditional league composition and format, for not having a league playoff and for not being “battle-tested” as a result.  So we’re awfully proud of the fact that, despite these perceived shortcomings, two different WCHL teams are the defending ACHA D1 Nationals Champions.

LEAGUE STANDINGS –In case you were sleeping, the WCHL lost one team from last season when Arizona State moved from ACHA D1 to NCAA D1.  However, the WCHL also added two teams this season in the University of Arkansas and Missouri State University.  So we have an odd number of teams in the WCHL this year and timing was also an issue which resulted in every WCHL team playing a different number of league games this season.  All that to say that we’re determining the WCHL Regular Season Champion based on the winning percentage in league games instead of the usual points earned system from the past two years.  Make sense?  Good.  So, with that understanding, here are the current WCHL standings:

 

Central Oklahoma’s magic number to clinch the 2015-2016 WCHL Regular Season Championship is four.  Any combination of league points earned by UCO and league points lost by Colorado that adds up to four (or more) would mean that the Bronchos would secure the highest percentage of possible league points earned during the season and the WCHL Champions Cup!

RANKINGS – All seven WCHL teams have been ranked in the ACHA D1 Top 25 computer ranking at some point during the 2015-2016 season.  Central Oklahoma and Colorado have been in the Top 10 all season long while Oklahoma and Arizona have been in the 10-15 range and Arkansas, Missouri State and Colorado State have been anywhere from 18 to 25 throughout the season.  Not bad for a little conference out West where nobody is supposed to know how to play hockey, huh?  Here’s the latest ACHA D1 ranking with three more to go before the field for Nationals is determined:

 

2015-2016 ACHA Men's Division 1 Ranking #14

Rank

School Name

Record

Previous

1

Lindenwood

16-7-0

3

2

Stony Brook

22-2-0

2

3

Minot State

22-2-2

1

4

Davenport

22-2-1

6

5

Central Oklahoma

18-6-1

4

6

Adrian

17-3-2

5

7

Ohio

23-4-1

7

8

Colorado

18-5-2

8

9

Iowa State

20-5-5

9

10

Lebanon Valley

18-4-0

10

11

Michigan-Dearborn

15-3-2

13

12

Robert Morris (IL)

17-7-3

12

13

Oklahoma

14-7-3

11

14

Liberty

9-13-1

16

15

Delaware

14-9-2

14

16

Western Michigan

17-8-2

15

17

Illinois

13-10-3

18

18

Arizona

6-10-3

17

19

Niagara

18-6-1

19

20

Rochester College

12-10-1

22

21

Arkansas

14-11-2

NR

22

Buffalo

19-6-2

20

23

Indiana Tech

15-11-2

23

24

Missouri State

13-17-0

NR

25

Colorado State

7-17-4

25

NATIONALS – The computer ranking will also for the third time determine the 20 teams that qualify for the 2016 ACHA Men's Division 1 National Championships, which will include the following seven autobids:

 

  • (CHMA) College Hockey Mid-America
  • (ECHA) Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association
  • (ESCHL) Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League
  • (GLCHL) Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League
  • (NECHL) Northeast Collegiate Hockey League
  • (WCHL) Western Collegiate Hockey League
  • (HOST) ROBERT MORRIS ILLINOIS

The 2016 ACHA Men's Division 1 National Championships will be hosted March 3-8 for the 4th time by Robert Morris University Illinois at the Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville, IL. This will be the fifth year of the 20-team format.

With three weekends of play before the final bids go out for Nationals, here is a look at how the Nationals field stands using the current computer ranking.  Based on Ranking #14, the D1 Autobids would be:

CHMA - #30 Mercyhurst

ECHA - #33 Navy

ESCHL - #2 Stony Brook

GLCHL - #4 Davenport

NECHL - #19 Niagara

WCHL - #5 Central Oklahoma

HOST- #12 Robert Morris Illinois (CLINCHED)

 As a result, 2 teams would be bumped out of the tournament bracket:

 #18 - Arizona

#20 - Rochester College

 Here would be the matchups as of Ranking #14:

 #1 Lindenwood vs (Winner of #16 Western Michigan vs #17 Illinois)

#2 Stony Brook  vs (Winner of #15 Delaware vs #18 Niagara)

#3 Minot State vs (Winner of #14 Liberty vs #19 Mercyhurst)

#4 Davenport vs (Winner of #13 Oklahoma vs #20 Navy)

#5 Central Oklahoma vs #12 Robert Morris Illinois

#6 Adrian vs #11 Michigan-Dearborn

#7 Ohio vs #10 Lebanon Valley

#8 Colorado vs #9 Iowa State

ACHA NEWS – While our focus has been on the ice, there has also been a lot of action off the ice within the ACHA.  For ACHA D1, next season will see at least three new teams at the ACHA D1 level.  The University of Jamestown (ND) and another University (TBA) have been accepted into ACHA D1 for 2016-2017 play.  Arizona State University will return to ACHA D1 play after a one-year hiatus and will rejoin the WCHL as the travel partner with the University of Arizona.

With ASU back in the picture, the WCHL will return to eight teams, each team will play 22 league games (three games each against interstate opponents/non-travel partners and four games against intrastate opponents/travel partners), and we’ll go back to using points earned (not win percentage) to determine the WCHL Champion.

Within the hierarchy of the ACHA leadership, there is a new Executive Director, new Commissioners at the ACHA D2 and ACHA D3 levels and some other new faces in leadership positions.  Should make for some interesting discussion at the Annual Meetings in Naples at the end of April.

WCHL ON TWITTER, FACEBOOK AND THE WEB– What’s the best way to get up-to-date, almost instantaneous info about the WCHL?  Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WesternCHL .  We update game results nightly, standings, game previews, viewing links, news from around the ACHA, all on our WCHL twitter feed.  You’re missing out if you’re not following us.

We’re also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WesternCHL and most of the info from the Twitter feed finds its way to the Facebook page, but no guarantees, ok?  Of course, we’d love for you to also bookmark our snazzy WCHL website at www.westernchl.com since it has a slew of league information as well.

Thanks for reading this far down and thanks for your support of the Western Collegiate Hockey League!

Got any ideas, questions, concerns, etc. about the WCHL?  Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook or shoot an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We hope to see you at a WCHL game soon!

Last modified on Tuesday, 02 February 2016 00:14

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