The CCHA is preparing in earnest for their inaugural season next year with a couple major announcements this week for the new conference, which will feature seven former members of the WCHA and Division I men’s college hockey’s newest addition, the University of St. Thomas.
First off, the league—in a bit of an implied nod towards the majority of the league’s former home—announced a set of upgrades that the league will implement. Those upgrades include:
-HD cameras for goal reviews
-Mic’ed referees to communicate with fans
-Better visitor locker room accomodations
-Expanded video broadcast production
A lot of these were items that have been implemented in the NCHC, with extremely positive results, and it’s great to see other conferences following their lead.
The league also announced the trophies for the regular season and conference tournament champions, both of which have roots in the original CCHA conference.
The CCHA’s regular season winner will be awarded the MacNaughton Cup. One of the oldest trophies in North American hockey, the MacNaughton Cup is held by trustees Michigan Tech, which allows the cup to follow them to whatever conference they may be in. That included a stint from 1982-84 when Michigan Tech was a member of the old CCHA and the MacNaughton Cup was given to that league’s champion.
Meanwhile, the conference playoff champion will receive the Mason Cup. Named after legendary coach Ron Mason, who coached at member schools Lake Superior State and Bowling Green, the Mason Cup was awarded to the CCHA playoff champion from 2001 until the league disbanded in 2013(The cup itself had to be collected from Notre Dame, the last school to win the trophy).
And finally, on Thursday, the league announced their full league schedule for the upcoming season. Conference play will begin Friday October 8th and conclude on Saturday February 26th, with each team playing 26 conference games.