“The WCHA is an amazing league. I’ll tell everyone.” Said Jinelle Siergiej, the Assistant Women’s Hockey Coach at St. Cloud State University.
The WCHA Women’s Hockey League was founded in 1999, and it is safe to say that over twenty years. It has changed the game.
“It’s just getting better and better, it’s more competitive, you never know who is going to win on any given night. You don’t have one or two really big dogs anymore” Siergiej said, in regards to the University of Minnesota and The University of Wisconsin who have dominated women’s hockey at the college level.
“Everyone can win at any time so that is big for us here in the WCHA.”
As the conference celebrates its twenty year anniversary they look back at some of the moments that paved the way. Moments like seven Patty Kazmaier Award Winners and seventeen Division I National Championships.
“I think being a part of the inaugural season and seeing the accomplishments over the last twenty years.” Said the head coach of Ohio State University Nadine Muzerall.
“Not just with Minnesota but with Ohio State being in the Frozen Four and with Wisconsin’s success and the other teams improving immensely. So I just think the growth of the game and having seventeen of the last nineteen championships being in our program, speaks volumes of who we are.”
This powerhouse conference has come a long way, but former players hope to see the WCHA continue to grow the sport and inspire young women.
“Get more awareness out there.” Said, Olympic Gold Medalist and former forward for the Wisconsin Badgers, Brianna Decker when asked about how to grow the sport of women’s hockey.
“I think a lot of people under estimate how good we are and how much skill we bring to the table every weekend. Just be able to have awareness, have fans come out to support all the teams throughout the U.S.”
For more information on the WCHA’s twentieth anniversary, visit http://wcha.com/women/index.php