The college hockey season is on ice.
In what was more of a formality than a surprise, the Hockey Commissioners Association said Thursday that the start of the season will delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
All 11 of the nation’s NCAA Division I men’s and women’s conference are impacted by the decision, including the 10-team Western Collegiate Hockey Association that counts UAA and UAF as members.
“The health and safety of everyone associated with our league is our top priority,” WCHA commissioner Bill Robertson said in a statement released by the conference.
“There was a strong desire to open the season as scheduled on October 3, but that is not possible given the realities we are facing. While we are still finalizing plans for our season at this point, we owe it to our student-athletes, coaches, officials and great fans to acknowledge the fact we will not begin play on time.”
WCHA teams were scheduled to begin play Oct. 3. No alternative starting date has been announced.
A new schedule and details about nonconference play and the postseason tournament will be announced later, the conference said.
The WCHA has teams in five states, and members are dealing with a variety of state, local, university and NCAA mandates regarding COVID-19. The conference said delaying the start of the season will allow it to address those various guidelines going forward.
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