Mass. COVID executive orders could affect college hockey

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Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced new executive orders on Monday in response to COVID cases spiking across the state. One of the orders, in particular, will have an effect on college hockey in Massachusetts.

Baker announced that all entertainment venues must close by 9:30 p.m. The only exceptions are for religious or political events. It’s expected that the order would apply to arenas hosting college hockey games, although the governor did not specifically address sports in his orders on Monday. That could result in earlier start times across the affected leagues.

This new order would have the largest effect on Hockey East, which is expected to begin play by the end of the month, but will also have an effect on the ECAC and Atlantic Hockey.

Hockey East and the ECAC have yet to release a schedule. Atlantic Hockey announced its plans to return to play last month.

Several Hockey East coaches confirmed that they saw a draft of the potential schedule late last week, and it’s currently scheduled to begin by the end of the month.

As of this writing, the first college hockey game in Massachusetts is scheduled to take place on Nov. 22, when Army travels to Holy Cross.