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Brad E. Schlossman / Forum Communications Co., Published September 21 2011

2 colleges invited to join UND in new hockey conference, WCHA also adding new teams

The National Collegiate Hockey Conference will likely expand by the end of the week.

The NCHC will invite Western Michigan and St. Cloud State to join UND, Denver, Colorado College, Nebraska-Omaha, Minnesota-Duluth and Miami in the new league that will start in 2013-14, sources told the Grand Forks Herald, a Forum Communications Co. newspaper.

Both schools are expected to accept the invites.

Notre Dame has not yet decided its future, but also holds an NCHC invite. Irish athletic director Jack Swarbrick told a radio station over the weekend that his school will make a decision within 10 days.

Without an invite to the NCHC, Bowling Green will likely accept an invitation to join the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, which in two years could be left with just four teams from the current setup – Alaska-Anchorage, Michigan Tech, MSU-Mankato and Bemidji State.

Northern Michigan, Lake Superior, Ferris State and Alaska (Fairbanks) already have accepted invites to switch from the disbanding Central Collegiate Hockey Association to the WCHA in 2013-14.

Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State will join the Big Ten Hockey Conference that same year.