NEWHA announced Wednesday the six-team conference will not play a regular season or a championship series in 2020-21 due to the ongoing pandemic, only a week after stating their intent to return to play in January 2021.
The change comes after Saint Anselm, Saint Michael’s, and Franklin Pierce all opted out as their primary conference withdrew from winter sports. Post University had announced they would not play earlier in the season.
Only Sacred Heart and Long Island University remain in the conference, and both have said their teams will play games in January and February according to NEWHA’s release.
Sacred Heart opened their season Dec. 13, playing a two-game series against Quinnipiac (ECAC). They lost both games, 6-1 and 9-1. Long Island University does not have any games on their schedule yet. The three Swedish LIU players recently returned to New York after spending the first semester at home playing in the SDHL.
NEWHA is the only Division I conference to not attempt to play a season amid the pandemic. Hockey East, WCHA, CHA, and ECAC are all playing official league games and are targeting some type of conference championship. The ECAC is playing with only four of their 12 teams, after eight opted out.
Regardless, the college hockey season has been defined more by the games not played than the games played, as cancellations pile up after just a month of play.