There will be Terrier Ice Hockey played this year, at least as of right now. Hockey East announced today that there will be a season in 2020-21 for both the men’s and women’s leagues. Season start dates have yet to be announced, and Hockey East will focus on an in-conference schedule for all 11 member schools.
With the Patriot League shuttering all fall sports on July 13, all eyes turned to Hockey East in its decision regarding the 2020-21 season. The situation remains fluid, as any significant changes could make a season impossible to carry out, but as it stands currently, college hockey will be played in the northeast.
In its announcement, Hockey East cited the close proximity of its member schools as a reasoning for a season being possible. With all 11 schools located in New England, six of which in the state of Massachusetts and three located in or just outside the city of Boston, overnight travel can be limited.
No start date for the season was announced, but USCHO’s Jim Connelly anticipates the season starting later than the usual October start. Connelly reported other details in the restart plan last night prior to the official Hockey East announcement, including flexibility in the number of league games that will be played, the intention to play a full eight-team conference tournament at season’s end and more. You can find the full thread here.
With the plan for a season to start, the next question that naturally surfaces is whether fans will be allowed to attend games in person. Replying to a question regarding the status of season-ticket holders attending games, the Hockey East Twitter account said the decision will “have to be made at a later date in accordance with local and state guidelines.”
Following the model of other sports returning across the country, it’s safe to assume games will be played in front of limited capacity crowds if fans are even admitted at all.
More will be announced as details are revealed.