St. Cloud State, left out in the original formation of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, has now been added to the NCHC. The league begins play in 2013.

The announcement of invitations came this morning, along with word that Western Michigan is also in.

St. Cloud State and Western Michigan have both scheduled press conferences for tomorrow to announce they'll accept the invites.

The conference formed earlier this year with Colorado College, Denver, Nebraska-Omaha, Miami-Ohio, North Dakota and Minnesota Duluth.

There was the belief that Notre Dame and Western Michigan would eventually get on board, and St. Cloud State officials said they were committed to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, but things changed with Notre Dame not making any commitments and Western eager to move ahead.

North Dakota athletic director Brian Faison said in a statement: "Both universities fit perfectly with the established goals of our conference membership."

 Notre Dame's delay has been seen by many as an indication that school believes it might be in the Big Ten by 2013 and would then play in the inaugural season of Big Ten hockey.