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April 29, 1999

%^$ MARCO ISLAND, Fla. – In a historic vote, the Western Collegiate%^$Hockey Association established a new womens league at its 1999 annual%^$meeting in Marco Island, Florida. %^$

%^$ The unanimous vote followed a year-long planning process.%^$

%^$ “This is indeed a significant development for the WCHA,” Darrell Smith%^$said, Chair of the Association and Faculty Representative from Michigan%^$Tech University. “We are all looking forward to playing a major role in%^$the continuing evolution and development of womens ice hockey at all%^$levels and the opportunity to build on, and add to, the great history%^$and tradition of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.”%^$

%^$ Inaugural members of the WCHA women’s league are Minnesota State%^$University, Mankato; University of Minnesota; University of%^$Minnesota-Duluth; St. Cloud State University, and University of%^$Wisconsin. In addition, Bemidji and Ohio State Univesity have been%^$invited to join the womens league.%^$

%^$ The women’s league will begin play for the 1999-2000 season and will%^$include a 24-game conference schedule and a year-end league tournament.