Hockey East announced on Friday that the league will begin games on Nov. 20.
The schedule has not been released.
As was reported this morning to our paid subscribers, on-ice officials received game assignments for the first four weeks of the season earlier this week.
While not official, it’s expected that the league will only play intraconference games. No Hockey East teams currently appear as non-conference opponents for WCHA or Atlantic Hockey teams.
My Take: This is obviously welcome news. As for the schedule itself, I guess it’s possible that some games against league opponents could be considered non-conference games, where they won’t count in the league standings. Essentially, these would be exhibition games that count towards the overall record, but not the league record. Or, Hockey East could opt to just begin a league schedule on Nov. 20 and all games count towards the standings. We should know more soon.
As has been the case across college hockey, I’m expecting that there will be no fans allowed at Hockey East games this season, but again, that’s also not confirmed.
Currently, Massachusetts regulations won’t allow crowds for games at Merrimack, UMass Lowell, Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern or UMass. Quite frankly, I’m not sure about the state regulations in Rhode Island (Providence), Connecticut (UConn), Maine, New Hampshire or Vermont, but my guess is that the league will create a league-wide protocol regarding fans and outside people (i.e. media) entering the arenas.