ST. CLOUD, Minn; Grnd Forks is known to be a town that revolves around hockey, but recently a huge announcement left the hockey world stunned. Word broke that the University of North Dakota Women’s Hockey program had been cut from the university.
“For the WCHA in general it just is a big hit. They are obviously a great competitor and its a fun weekend when we are going to play North Dakota or they are coming here, its always a good weekend” said Junior on the St. Cloud State Women’s Hockey Team, Alyssa Erickson.
The program had been cut due to an anticipated drop in state funding. Removing the Women’s team helped a $1.3 million deficit for the University. Hockey however, was not the only program cut. The Men’s and Women’s Swim and Dive team also found out their dreaded fate that same day.
This now leaves the WCHA with seven teams and affects those left in the conference.
“You never know whats going to happen and its a precious honor to play division one hockey at any level. I think when you see something like this it really puts it into perspective” said Head Women’s Hockey Coach, Eric Rud.
Although this situation is not ideal for the UND Women’s team, other teams within the conference have to take this opportunity and try to find new homes for these players.
“We just want to be supportive and certainly try to help them find a home to finish their career, their current players and some of their incoming recruits also. there are some issues there with them trying to find a home” said Rud.
The UND program has produced twelve Olympians and managed to send eight to the 2014 Olympic Games.