Our choice in number eight is a story that will have far-reaching effects to the UAA and UAF hockey programs. A hectic summer of restructuring the conference of college hockey resulted in sweeping changes to long-time powerhouse leagues, leaving both Alaskan teams scrambling to find new members to compete with. The first domino to fall was an anticipated one, as WCHA schools Minnesota and Wisconsin, along with Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State of the CCHA, announced their intention to leave their respective leagues and form a Big 10 hockey conference for the 2013-14 school year. That move was foreseen. The one that followed was not. Also over the summer, six current WCHA schools ( North Dakota, Denver, Colorado College, St. Cloud State, Nebraska Omaha, and Minnesota-Duluth ), along with Miami of the CCHA, revealed that they were going to join forces and form their own league called the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. The move left UAA Athletic Director Dr. Steve Cobb stunned as those schools had previously pledged their allegiance to protecting the WCHA. With both conferences appearing to be in shambles two years down the road, the two leagues began the process of merging together. When the dust settled, the WCHA absorbed most of the CCHA's remaining members ( North Michigan, Ferris State, Lake Superior State, UAF, and Bowling Green ) in time for the fall of 2013, joining up with UAA, Bemidji State, Minnesota State-Mankato, and Michigan Tech. UAA's new conference will have nine members, and will look nothing like the league that has produced the most NCAA champions.