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Six schools form National Collegiate Hockey Conference

Colorado Springs, CO (Sports Network) - Members of the newly formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference, which include defending national champions Minnesota-Duluth, were announced on Wednesday.

The conference, which will begin competition in 2013-14, will consist of Denver, Colorado College, Miami (Ohio), Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha and North Dakota.

The power-packed NCHC carries teams that have tallied four NCAA titles, 14 NCAA Frozen Four appearances, 12 conference regular-season championships and nine conference tournament championships since 2000.

The league was formed in the wake of March's announcement of a Big Ten hockey conference, which will also begin play in the 2013-14 season.

"The conference realignment started to happen this past spring," said Denver head coach George Gwozdecky. "We believe this provided an opportunity to assess the landscape and make decisions for what's in the best interest of each institution and college hockey as a whole."

Minnesota and Wisconsin left the Western Collegiate Hockey Association to join Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Division I newcomer Penn State to form the Big Ten league. Miami competes in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, where the other Big Ten teams currently play.

"The motivation to create the National Collegiate Hockey Conference follow recent conference realignments that affected several of our founding teams," said Brian Faison, director of athletics at North Dakota. "Our new conference was developed under the auspice of institutions that have displayed a high level of competitiveness on the ice, 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."

A national search for the conference's first commissioner as well as work on other organizational details began after Wednesday's announcement.

07/13 14:50:29 ET

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