Co-Commissioners Jason White of Midland University and Kat Hannah of Lindenwood University-Belleville are pleased to announce the formation of Women’s Midwest Collegiate Hockey. The six team league will open play in the 2019-20 season, culminating with the WMCH Tournament held in Saint Louis from March 6- 8. The winner of the tournament will earn an automatic bid to the 2020 ACHA Division I National Championships, which will be played in Frisco, Texas March 25-29.
The Lynx and Warriors will be joined in the new league by teams representing Minot State University, Liberty University, McKendree University and the University of Minnesota.
Ryan Miner from Minot State has been named as league secretary for the inaugural season. Johnny Lange, Assistant Sports Information Director at Lindenwood-Belleville will serve as Media Relations Director for WMCH. Social media will be provided by McKendree assistant coach Nina Ella and Maddy Millar, who graduated from Lindenwood-Belleville in 2018.
“I’m really excited about the teams and leadership we have on board,” said Hannah. “The statistics speak for themselves as five of six were top eight in ACHA Division I while the other was undefeated in the regular season in Division II. Every game within this league will be competitive and I’m really excited about the positive change we can evoke and raising the bar across the board.”
“As women’s hockey and the ACHA continue to grow we feel that this conference is a direct reflection of both,” said White. “We are excited about the quality, competition and skill of the student-athletes and coaches. The WMCH has the ability to be a premier conference at the ACHA Division I level.”
Five of the six inaugural members were ranked in the top-eight of the ACHA Division I rankings during the regular season and four of the member teams (Liberty, McKendree, Midland and Lindenwood-Belleville) qualified for the ACHA Division I National Championship. Liberty upended Lindenwood-Belleville 5-2 in the National Championship game giving the Flames their second consecutive and third National Championship overall.
In 2018-19, Minot State competed in ACHA Division II and advanced to the National Championship game. In the National Championship game, the Beavers dropped a 1-0 decision to Assiniboine. Throughout the regular season, Minot earned a 9-0-0 record against ACHA Division I competition.
During the 2018-19 season the six squads combined for a 116-40-9 record. Collectively, the teams scored 738 goals while only surrendering 297 during the last campaign. Boasting three teams that played in the 2019 National Championship games, the WMCH will feature exciting, high scoring hockey all season long.
“This division will be powerful and I’m excited to see how the first year goes,” said Hannah. “I’m also excited to see what we can do for the growth of the game moving forward.”