March 21, 2011
PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- The University of Michigan ice hockey team will join the Big Ten Conference for the 2013-14 academic year, the conference office announced Monday (March 21). The six-team league will include U-M, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin. The Big Ten regular-season schedule will include 20 games -- two home games and two road games against each opponent -- as well as the Big Ten Tournament in March, which will determine the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
"The Big Ten Conference is respected nationally for our high level of performance in both athletics and academics," said Dave Brandon, University of Michigan Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. "I'm pleased that the athletic directors and presidents of the Big Ten Conference have decided to create a conference competition among the six schools with men's ice hockey programs because it will enhance the visibility of our teams and the sport. Competing for Big Ten championships is an important part of the Michigan tradition, and I'm pleased that our coaches and student-athletes will have the opportunity to do just that in a few short years."
A member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) since the 1981-82 season, Michigan will make a concerted effort to schedule non-conference games against CCHA member schools. The NCAA permits each team to have 34 games on its regular-season schedule. Over its 30 years in the CCHA, U-M has won 11 regular-season titles and nine postseason championships.
From 1958-59 through 1980-81, the Big Ten schools that sponsored hockey competed for Big Ten titles within their larger affiliation with the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). Michigan earned five Big Ten titles (1960-61, 1961-62, 1963-64, 1967-68, 1968-69) and posted a Big Ten record of 106-117-5 against MSU, Minnesota, OSU and Wisconsin.
Michigan holds a winning record over three of the four Big Ten schools that currently sponsor teams. U-M is 138-123-18 against MSU, the team Michigan has faced more than any other in program history. Michigan trails Minnesota, 117-128-15. The Wolverines are 68-31-11 against Ohio State and 63-52-7 versus Wisconsin. Penn State announced that it will begin a varsity program during the 2012-13 academic year, which gives the Big Ten its six-team minimum in order to sponsor a league championship.
Contact: Matt Trevor (734) 763-4423