In the Bemidji Pioneer story about the schedule, it was revealed how the WCHA is scheduling for a 12-team league. Basically, teams will continue to have playing partners or "rivals," whom they will always play four times a year and there will be a rotation of partners every year into four-team pods. That means a team will play three conference teams four times (home and away) and the other eight teams twice (half at home, half on the road), keeping the conference schedule at 28 games.
According to the story, Beavers coach Tom Serratore said the cleanest option was chosen to develop a five-year schedule. "Basically, the traditional travel partners will remain the same, with the addition of BSU being paired with (Nebraska-Omaha)," he said.
This will probably be disappointing to Minnesota State fans. The Mavericks have been paired with Alaska-Anchorage in the last scheduling arrangement. That was probably fair since they were the last two teams to join the league. But, unlike most of the other partners, there is no real rivalry with the Seawolves.
Nothing against Anchorage, but MSU should be paired with one of the new teams. Not only have the Mavericks supported Bemidji and Omaha by playing them regularly over the years, but there is a natural rivalry with them. Bemidji State was a longtime Division II hockey rival, while Omaha competed in the old North Central Conference with MSU (as well as St. Cloud and North Dakota) in other sports for many years. Also, there's the Spirit of the Maverick trophy series between MSU and UNO to think about.