College hockey season delayed
The excitement that comes in early October with the start of hockey season will have to wait. Following the delay of fall sports in the Big Ten, college hockey will be delayed as well, per a statement from the Hockey Commissioners Association, which governs all 11 Division I hockey leagues.
“The eleven Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey conferences, represented by the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA), are committed to providing memorable experiences for our student-athletes during the upcoming season,” the HCA said in a statement. “The conferences have been working together on plans to return to play with a focus on the health and safety of everyone associated within our campus communities. Due to the impact COVID-19 continues to have across the country and within higher education, the start of competition for the Division I college hockey season will be delayed. Each conference will announce plans for the season individually. We look forward to enjoying the college hockey experience this season.”
Michigan will now await the Big Ten’s plans for their season. The NCHC — which is home to prominent teams including University of North Dakota and University of Denver — announced they were targeting a start date around Nov. 20. The Big Ten has not made any announcements about a potential start date.
The team began practicing last week but under strict protocols to continue to follow health guidelines.
The Wolverines have been divided into two groups of nine and one group of ten and only one group is allowed into Yost Ice Arena at a time. Michigan is also not currently allowed access to the locker rooms.
Michigan’s roster has several stars returning from last year including sophomore defenseman Cam York who was a finalist for Big Ten freshman of the year and junior goaltender Strauss Mann who was recently named as one the captains for the upcoming season. The Wolverines also have one of the most decorated freshman classes in some time, with several potential NHL first round picks joining the team.
The team will hope to be showcasing their talent at some point this winter. For now though, they will continue to operate in the face of uncertainty, rather than clarity.