MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota State, Minnesota has applied for membership in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and is considering leaving the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

Minnesota State-Mankato

MSU President Richard Davenport said Wednesday the school wanted to be "proactive in seeking what's best for the University." While he said the school's relationship with the WCHA remains strong, Davenport said MSU believes that "now is the right time to consider all conference affiliation options" for the Mavericks hockey team.

He calls the application to the NCHC "a very preliminary step."

In a statement, WCHA President Bill Robertson said he is "deeply disappointed" in MSU's decision to apply to another conference, but understands the need for school officials to examine their options.

Minnesota State is among 10 teams in the WCHA. The NCHC has eight teams.