The Hockey Commissioners Association announced last week that the 2020-21 men’s and women’s hockey seasons will have delayed starts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What does that mean for the two programs at the University of Vermont?
Expect the Catamounts to return to competition sometime in November, athletic director Jeff Schulman told the Free Press on Monday.
The UVM men’s and women’s teams, which resumed practices at Gutterson Fieldhouse last week, reside in the ultra-competitive Hockey East. The Commissioners Association said it has left it up to individual conferences to announce their season plans.
“We are looking at a variety of different possible start dates mostly focused on the month of November with an emphasis on league play,” Schulman said. “We want to make every effort to provide our student-athletes and our communities with college hockey.”
Schulman said Hockey East won’t set start dates until its ready to do so.
“It’s going to depend on how our various campuses are doing, our ability to put the protocol and testing requirements in place, our ability to manage travel challenges, quarantine issues and all of the different issues that are front and center right now in our new COVID reality,” the fifth-year UVM AD said.
The UVM men’s hockey team begins a new era this fall with first-year coach Todd Woodcroft. The Catamounts went 5-23-6 last year, their sixth losing season of the decade, to finish last in the Hockey East standings.
More UVM hockey:
- UVM men’s hockey coach Todd Woodcroft on Babcock: ‘Equivalent of a Bill Belichick’
- How UVM landed NHL assistant coach Todd Woodcroft for the men’s hockey gig
The UVM women’s squad posted a 10-18-8 mark and fell to No. 1 Northeastern in the conference quarterfinals in Jim Plumer’s eighth season at the helm.
Schulman also said he expects the NCAA to provide more clarity on start dates for men’s and women’s basketball in the next few days.
“This year is going to be unlike anything we have gone through,” Schulman said. “Obviously, our first priority is always going to be the health and well-being of our student-athletes and our coaches and our staff and the community.
“We are not going to compromise on safety just to play a certain number of games.”
Contact Alex Abrami at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @aabrami5.
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