Today, the NCHC released its plans for the start of the 2020-21 season. While the plan isn’t great, it does give fans a chance to have college hockey. You can read the whole release here. Here are a couple of things that stick out.
For this season, the league will have two divisions. UND will be in the Western Division with DU, CC, Omaha, and will play 18 games against these three foes. The Eastern Division will consist of Miami, UMD, Western, and SCSU.
I imagine that fans will get pretty tired of seeing the same three teams over and over again, especially when there are four other teams in the league. This schedule isn’t ideal, but at least we’re going to have some college hockey.
My biggest concern, who’s going to produce the NCHC.TV broadcasts? Midco Sports Network is in talks to produce all of the games in the pod. It will be interesting to see how that shakes out.
NCHC Talking Points
With the focus on the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, staff, and officials, the Conference has intentionally attempted to limit team travel. Because of this, NCHC teams have been divided into two divisions based on geography for 2020-21 scheduling purposes: East and West. The East Division consists of Miami, Minnesota Duluth, St. Cloud State and Western Michigan. The West Division consists of Colorado College, Denver, North Dakota and Omaha. Teams will play each of their divisional opponents six times (18 games total) and each cross-division opponent twice (8 games total), with all cross-division games taking place in the Pod to alleviate travel. The second portion of the season will then take place January through March, with all divisional foes playing each other at home and on the road.
The Conference will commence the pursuit of the Penrose Cup on Tuesday, Dec. 1 in the Pod, which will take place in Omaha, Nebraska, where the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Baxter Arena will host all eight NCHC teams. Competition in the Pod will include 10 games per team (40 games total) and run through the first three weeks of December, with games held throughout each week. In addition to the cross-division games at Baxter Arena, each team will also play two games against one divisional foe in the Pod.
Will fans be allowed in the pod?
Will fans be allowed in the Pod or at games on campus sites this season?
At this time, no decisions regarding fans for any part of the season have been made. The collective membership and Douglas County (NE) Health Department will have the authority over whether fans will be allowed in the Pod. Institutions and the local county health authorities will determine whether fans will be allowed in member school venues during the second portion of the season. If allowed, each institution will work with those authorities to determine an appropriate capacity for games.