ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — College hockey’s two Midwestern conferences are showing their strength at this year’s Frozen Four.

The NCAA semifinalists include two teams each from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, tradition-rich leagues bracing for a jolt in two years when the Big Ten begins.

Minnesota Duluth of the WCHA plays Notre Dame of the CCHA in the early game on Thursday, followed by WCHA champion North Dakota facing off against longtime CCHA power Michigan in the other matchup.

Coaches and players from both conferences say they’ll miss the Big Ten teams when they leave but insist they’re strong enough to survive. Minnesota and Wisconsin will leave the WCHA, and Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State will depart the CCHA in 2013.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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