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Nov. 24, 2003

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s ice hockey team officially has accepted an offer to join College Hockey America and will begin league play in 2004-05, ending a five-year affiliation with the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

“We have certainly enjoyed our stay in the WCHA. It has been very beneficial for the growth and development of our young team,” Andy Geiger, Ohio State director of athletics, said. “At the same time, we look forward to our new affiliation with the CHA and the opportunities this league presents. The proximity of the teams in this league make it especially attractive from a travel standpoint for Ohio State.”

Ohio State is one of two teams who will begin play in CHA beginning with the 2004-05 season, as Quinnipiac accepted the CHA’s invitation in July. The CHA Women’s conference, which began play in 2002-03, currently consists of Findlay, Mercyhurst, Niagara and Wayne State. Mercyhurst claimed the regular season and playoff title in the inaugural campaign.

Ohio State is familiar with the teams in CHA, as the Buckeyes have played Findlay, Mercyhurst and Wayne State during the past four years. OSU will play three teams currently in the conference (Findlay, Mercyhurst, Niagara), as well as, Quinnipiac this season.

Since moving to the Division I level in 1999, Ohio State has competed in the WCHA.

“We have had a positive experience competing in the WCHA the past five years,” Jackie Barto, Ohio State women’s ice hockey head coach, said. “We are very excited about joining College Hockey America, which is committed to women’s hockey and the growth of collegiate hockey. We look forward to beginning this new association next season and feel it will be a positive for our program.”