National Collegiate Hockey Conference

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National Collegiate Hockey Conference
Founded2011 (began play in 2013)
CommissionerHeather Weems
Sports fielded
DivisionDivision I
No. of teams8 (9 in 2024)
HeadquartersColorado Springs, Colorado
RegionMidwestern United States
Western United States
Location of teams in

The National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) is an NCAA men's Division I hockey conference for teams in the Midwestern United States. The league was formed on July 9, 2011 and began playing for the 2013–14 season, the same season that the Big Ten Conference began competition, as a combination of six previous members of the WCHA and two of the CCHA. The league is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado.[1]


The men's college ice hockey landscape was shaken on March 21, 2011, when the Big Ten Conference was announced it would sponsor the sport following Penn State having fielding a team, bringing the number of Big Ten members with teams to six.[2] The WCHA faced the loss of the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Wisconsin Badgers in the future, whereas the CCHA faced the loss of the Michigan Wolverines, the Michigan State Spartans, and Ohio State Buckeyes. Some of the remaining teams of the WCHA and CCHA began talks to form a league that would ensure their survival as financially strong and successful programs.

On July 9, 2011, the athletic directors of the six founding schools, Colorado College, the University of Denver, Miami University, the University of Minnesota Duluth, the University of Nebraska Omaha, and the University of North Dakota, confirmed these reports by announcing the conference officially and giving the date for a press conference for further information on July 13, 2011.[3]

At the July 13, 2011 press conference, Brian Faison, athletic director of the University of North Dakota, and one of the main speakers said that the motivation for this conference was to put teams together that "have displayed a high level of competitiveness on the ice, [have] an institutional commitment to compete at the highest level within Division I, provide a national platform for exposure, and have wonderful history and tradition within their institution and hockey programs."[4]

On September 22, 2011, St. Cloud State University and Western Michigan University accepted invitations to join the NCHC.[5][6]

On March 7, 2013, the NCHC unveiled the logo for the inaugural season. It features a shield design with the colors red, white, and blue. Inside the shield are eight stars, presumably representing the eight inaugural members, and a hockey stick on the bottom left.

On May 12, 2022, Heather Weems was named third commissioner of the NCHC.[7]

On July 5, 2023, a report came out that announced that Arizona State University would join the conference beginning in the 2024–25 season.[8] The NCHC officially announced Arizona State's entry later that day.[9]


Institution Location Founded Former conference Type Enrollment Nickname Colors NCAA
Women's conference Primary conference
Colorado College Colorado Springs, Colorado 1874 WCHA Private 1,950 Tigers     2 N/A SCAC (D-III)
University of Denver Denver, Colorado 1864 WCHA 11,842 Pioneers     9 N/A Summit League
Miami University Oxford, Ohio 1809 CCHA Public 15,726 RedHawks     0 N/A MAC
University of Minnesota Duluth Duluth, Minnesota 1902 WCHA 10,500 Bulldogs     3 WCHA Northern Sun (D-II)
University of Nebraska Omaha Omaha, Nebraska 1908 WCHA 14,903 Mavericks     0 N/A Summit League
University of North Dakota Grand Forks, North Dakota 1883 WCHA 15,250 Fighting Hawks     8 N/A[a] Summit League
St. Cloud State University St. Cloud, Minnesota 1869 WCHA 17,073 Huskies     0 CCHA Northern Sun (D-II)
Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, Michigan 1903 CCHA 25,045 Broncos     0 N/A MAC
  1. ^ North Dakota's women's team was in the WCHA before the university dropped the program in 2017.

Future member[edit]

Institution Location Founded Join date Former conference Type Enrollment Nickname Colors NCAA
Women's conference Primary conference
Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona 1885 2024[9][10] Independent Public 79,232 Sun Devils     0 WWCHL (ACHA) Pac-12 (Big 12 in 2024)


Season Regular Season NCHC Tournament Best NCAA Finish
2013–14 St. Cloud State Denver Frozen Four (North Dakota)
2014–15 North Dakota Miami Frozen Four (North Dakota, Omaha)
2015–16 North Dakota St. Cloud State Champion (North Dakota)
2016–17 Denver Minnesota Duluth Champion (Denver)
2017–18 St. Cloud State Denver Champion (Minnesota Duluth)
2018–19 St. Cloud State Minnesota Duluth Champion (Minnesota Duluth)
2019–20 North Dakota None* None*
2020–21 North Dakota North Dakota Runner-Up (St. Cloud State)
2021–22 Denver/North Dakota Minnesota Duluth Champion (Denver)
2022–23 Denver St. Cloud State Regional Final (St. Cloud State)

(*) = Both the 2020 NCHC and NCAA tournaments were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Penrose Cup is a trophy that has been awarded to the NCHC's regular-season champion since the conference's beginning in 2013. The award is named in honor of Julie and Spencer Penrose who created the El Pomar Foundation that played a major role in the establishment of the NCHC.[11]

Wins by School
Team Wins Years
North Dakota 5 2014-15, 2015–16, 2019–20, 2020–21, 2021–22
St. Cloud State 3 2013-14, 2017–18, 2018–19
Denver 3 2016-17, 2021–22, 2022-23

NCHC Tournament champions[edit]

Conference arenas[edit]

The Ralph Engelstad Arena is one of the largest arenas in college hockey.
School Hockey arena Year opened Capacity
Arizona State Mullett Arena 2022 5,000
Colorado College Ed Robson Arena 2021 3,407
Denver Magness Arena 1999 6,026
Miami Goggin Ice Center 2006 3,200
Minnesota Duluth AMSOIL Arena 2010 6,732
North Dakota Ralph Engelstad Arena 2001 11,640
Omaha Baxter Arena 2015 7,898
St. Cloud State Herb Brooks National Hockey Center 1989 5,763
Western Michigan Lawson Arena 1974 3,667

Membership timeline[edit]

Arizona State UniversityWestern Michigan UniversitySt. Cloud State UniversityUniversity of North DakotaUniversity of Nebraska OmahaUniversity of Minnesota DuluthMiami UniversityUniversity of DenverColorado College


At the conclusion of each regular season schedule the coaches of each NCHC team vote which players they choose to be on the three All-Conference teams:[12] first team, second team and rookie team. Additionally they vote to award the 10 individual trophies to an eligible player at the same time. The CCHA also awards Most Valuable Player in Tournament which is voted on at the conclusion of the conference tournament. All of the awards were created for the inaugural season (2013–14).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Conference". USCHO. Retrieved 2018-02-23.
  2. ^ "Big Ten Officially Announces Hockey Conference". College Hockey News. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
  3. ^ "Collegiate Hockey Conference Joint Statement". North Dakota Fighting Sioux. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
  4. ^ "New National Collegiate Hockey Conference Announced With Six Top College Programs as Founding Members" (Press release). PRnewswire. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
  5. ^ "St. Cloud State will join NCHC". Star Tribune. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  6. ^ "WMU To Join National Collegiate Hockey Conference". WMU. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  7. ^ "NCHC Names Heather Weems New Commissioner". 12 May 2022. Retrieved 2023-01-17.
  8. ^ "Arizona State hockey program set to join National Collegiate Hockey Conference in 2024-25 season - PHNX". 5 July 2023.
  9. ^ a b "Arizona State to Join NCHC Starting in 2024-2025 Season" (Press release). National Collegiate Hockey Conference. July 5, 2023. Retrieved July 9, 2023.
  10. ^ "Arizona State to Join NCHC Starting in 2024-25 Season". Arizona State Sun Devils. 2023-07-05. Retrieved 2023-07-05.
  11. ^ "Julie and Spencer Penrose Memorial Cup". Retrieved 2021-02-08.
  12. ^ "NCHC announces All-Conference players, All-Rookie Team". Alaska Nanooks. 2013-03-22. Retrieved 2013-07-23.

External links[edit]