Since its inception in 1971-72, the CCHA has grown in stature from a collection of fledgling hockey programs to the most respected conference in the nation on the ice, off the ice and behind the bench.
CCHA teams have accounted for 23 of the 80 NCAA Frozen Four participants from 1992-2011. Eight different CCHA teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament in the 1990s: Bowling Green, Lake Superior, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Northern Michigan, Ohio State and Western Michigan. Alaska, Ferris State, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska-Omaha, Northern Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Western Michigan have been involved since 2000.
The 11 current CCHA teams have combined to win nine of the last 28 NCAA Championships: Bowling Green (1984), Michigan State (1986, 2007), Lake Superior (1988, 1992, 1994), Northern Michigan (1991) and Michigan (1996, 1998).
Hobey Baker Memorial Award Winners
Seven CCHA players have received the Hobey Baker Memorial Award which has been presented to the top player in U.S. college hockey since 1981: Bowling Green forward George McPhee (1982), Michigan State forward Kip Miller (1990), Bowling Green forward Brian Holzinger (1995), Michigan forward Brendan Morrison (1997), Michigan State goaltender Ryan Miller (2001), Michigan forward Kevin Porter (2008), and most recently, Miami forward Andy Miele (2011).
CCHA players have combined for 174 All-American honors, including 88 First-Team selections. Bowling Green defenseman Ken Morrow was the CCHA's first First-Team All-American in 1978. Since college hockey expanded to four conferences in 1984-85, Michigan's Brendan Morrison is the only player to have been named to the First Team for three consecutive seasons (1995, 1996, 1997).
The NHL Draft
Fourteen CCHA players were selected in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, including two first-round draft picks.
The Stanley Cup
The CCHA has had the names of 33 former players engraved on the Stanley Cup. The most recent addition was Bob Essena (Michigan State), the goaltending coach for the 2011 champion Boston Bruins.
Alumni in the NHL
The CCHA continues to flourish as a producer of NHL-caliber talent. The 2010-2011 season saw 86 former CCHA players perform at hockey's highest level. Michigan led the way with 23 alumni in the NHL followed by Michigan State with 15. The league's alumni skaters appeared in 3,618 games, totaling 1,293 points. The alumni goalkeepers skated in 161 games and earned 75 wins in 2010-11. In 2011, Ryan Kesler (Ohio State) won the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the league's best defensive forward while current Pittsburgh Penguins coach and former Bowling Green forward, Dan Bylsma, won the Jack Adams Trophy for Coach of the Year.
Beyond the CCHA
More than 70 former CCHA players have gone on to careers in coaching or management at the junior, collegiate and professional levels.
One current general manager in the National Hockey League played in the CCHA: Washington's George McPhee (Bowling Green).
National Record Setters
Former Michigan State and Bowling Green coach Ron Mason is the all-time winnigest coach in college hockey history with 924 victories.
On February 10, 2001 Ryan Miller of Michigan State became the NCAA career shutout leader when he backstopped the Spartans to a 3-0 win over Alaska Fairbanks. It was his 17th career shutout and his career total stands at 24 through the 2001-2002 season. Miller's .950 save percentage in the 2000-2001 campaign still stands as the second-best single-season mark in NCAA history.
On January 9, 1998, Michigan's Marty Turco passed another former Wolverine, Steve Shields, to become the all-time winning goaltender in NCAA history with 112 wins. Turco finished his career with 127 wins.
Michigan State senior Mike Donnelly clinched the 1986 NCAA title with his second goal of the game with 2:51 remaining in a 6-5 win over Harvard and set the NCAA record for goals in a season with 59.
Rod Brind'Amour (Michigan State) was the first former U.S. college hockey player to captain a Stanley Cup winning team.