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New Rivalries


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It seems most fans of non-NCHC and Big Ten teams are still in the stage where they want to find somebody to blame for NCAA hockey realignment.

Personally, I'm not sold on the NCHC, but I don't fault the Big Ten and the strongest of the leftover WCHA teams for creating new hockey leagues. It could actually be good for the sport. My guess is that Notre Dame joins Hockey East, helps create an Eastern super conference, or goes independent. I think Western Michigan is a decent candidate for the NCHC. I know traditionally they've had little success, but they have some intriguing qualities (footprint in Michigan, large campus with good academics, decent sized market, commitment to hockey). I'd like to see Bowling Green join the WCHA, but if Notre Dame turns them down, the NCHC might be desperate enough to include BG to get to 8 teams.

Moving past that, what will be the biggest rivalries in the new conferences? What team(s) will opposing fans most love to hate. Where do you think the conference tournament would ideally be hold most often? My choices in red.



Michigan State


Ohio State

Penn State


Candidates for love to hate category: Minnesota, Michigan

Candidates for best rivalry: Minnesota vs. Michigan, Minnesota vs. Wisconsin, Michigan vs. Michigan State, Michigan vs. Ohio State

Conference tournament: St. Paul, Detroit


Colorado College





North Dakota

Candidates for love to hate category: North Dakota. Unless Notre Dame joins the conference, I only see us as the choice here

Candidates for best rivalry: UND vs. Denver, Denver vs. CC, UND vs. Duluth

Conference tournament: Omaha, Denver




Bemidji State

Ferris State

Lake Superior State

Michigan Tech

Minnesota State

Northern Michigan

St. Cloud State

Candidates for love to hate category: St. Cloud State

Candidates for best rivalry: Michigan Tech vs. Northern Michigan, Fairbanks vs. Anchorage, Minnesota State vs. SCSU, Bemidji State vs. SCSU

Conference tournament: League regular season winner or rotation, St. Paul

Anybody else think these conferences are actually more intriguing than what we have now?

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It's a bit early to tell, but I think UND and Miami will form a nice rivalry. I think the Redhawks see themselves as and up-and-coming version of us. They play a lot like we do and their coach Enrico Blasi and the university have strived to make them a perennial contender. I'm not so sure that our fanbase will see it as a rivalry team right away, but I think their tenacity that they will show when playing us will spark something between the teams that may grow bigger in the long-term.

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