The Western Intercollegiate Hockey League, or WIHL, is a now defunct league for Men's Division I, existing from 1951 to 1958. The league was origanlly named the Midwest Collegiate Hockey League, and eventually became the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The member teams of the WIHL included:
The WIHL was originally called the Midwest Collegiate Hockey League when formed in 1951, but changed the name to the WIHL to better reflect the truly western geography of the conference in 1953. The WIHL disbanded in 1958 amongst feuding between its members over recruiting practices. Minnesota and the Michigan schools accused the Colorado schools and North Dakota of recruiting overage Canadian players, which was not against any conference or NCAA rules, but was against the spirit of the league. After the league disbanded for one season, all the schools involved agreed that a lack of a formal league hurt them, and the WCHA was officially formed in 1959. However, the WCHA includes the WIHL years as part of its own history, since all of the member teams in the two leagues were identical.
The league was very dominant on the national level as its members won the national championship in six out of the seven seasons that the league existed. The only season that a member did not win the national championship was 1954 where the Minnesota Golden Gophers lost to Renssalaer, 5 to 4 in overtime. The NCAA Tournament was only four teams during the league's whole existence and the league sent two teams to each of the tournaments. The 1954 final was also the only final not involving two of the league's teams.
The league did not hold a post season tournament.
League seasons[edit | edit source]
- 1951-52 MCHL season
- 1952-53 MCHL season
- 1953-54 WIcHL season
- 1954-55 WIcHL season
- 1955-56 WIcHL season
- 1956-57 WIcHL season
- 1957-58 WIcHL season
League champions[edit | edit source]
- 1951-52 - Colorado College Tigers
- 1952-53 - Minnesota Golden Gophers
- 1953-54 - Minnesota Golden Gophers
- 1954-55 - Colorado College Tigers
- 1955-56 - Michigan Wolverines
- 1956-57 - Colorado College Tigers
- 1957-58 - North Dakota Fighting Sioux