As reported by USCHO, the newfangled WCHA will be admitting Alabama-Huntsville for the 2013-14 season. Without the invite, the program would have been in danger of extinction after the dissolving of College Hockey America.
The Chargers are currently an independent and have already wrapped up their home schedule, a schedule which featured only two games against a D1 opponent (future WCHA foe Minnesota State) with the rest coming against club teams and D3 programs.
This brings the new look WCHA to 10 teams, and it will be interesting to see what happens with any future expansion not featuring a Big 10 team. The biggest immediate problem, though, will be travel. Huntsville is around 4,000 miles from Anchorage, and it is a little over 1,000 from Bemidji,the site of its biggest rival.
Still, this is a great day for college hockey, as realignment threatened to take away college hockey’s most successful foray into the south. Hopefully with Huntsville’s admission into the WCHA more southern programs will make the jump from club hockey to D1.
You can read the school’s release on the news here.