Colorado Springs, CO (Northland's NewsCenter) --- The National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) will launch with a 24-game conference schedule when it begins play in the 2013-14 season, it was announced on Wednesday.
League teams will also play 10 non-conference games during the inaugural season, making for a 34 total game regular season schedule.
"We believe that the strength of the conference," NCHC commissioner Jim Scherr said, "along with the allowance for 10 non-conference games against a combination of traditional rivals and other top programs from around the country will provide the best opportunity to have a maximum number of our teams qualifying for the NCAA Tournament and playing for the national championship every year."
Scherr said teams will play 12 conference games in each half of the season for the NCHC, which last week announced a national television deal with the CBS Sports Network.
The defending NCAA national champion UMD Bulldogs are one of six founding members in the NCHC, joining Colorado College, Denver, North Dakota, Nebraska-Omaha, and Miami (OH) University.
Western Michigan and St. Cloud State are both part of the new league as well, rounding out the eight-team conference.