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ZhHL releases 2020-2021 schedule

KRS Vanke Rays will also have a new home.

WHL play-off semifinal: KRS Vanke Rays Shenzhen 6 - 2 Tornado Moscow Region Photo by Sergei Fadeichev\TASS via Getty Images

The Women’s Hockey League in Russia announced their schedule for the upcoming 2020-2021 season. The eight-team league will drop the puck on Sept. 19 with a game between KRS Vanke Rays and Agidel Ufa.

In addition, the league confirmed that KRS Vanke Rays will start the season playing out of the Moscow region, most likely due to the coronavirus pandemic making travel to and from China difficult. The newest ZhHL team, the 7.62, will call Voskresensk home this season at the “Khimik” arena.

Each team will play 28 regular-season games with the season running until Feb. 28, 2021. The playoffs are planned to start on March 6, 2021 and will finish by March 23.

Teams have just over a two-month long break with no games scheduled from Dec. 7, 2020 until Feb. 11, 2021. The league’s All-Star Game is scheduled to be played during the gap on Jan. 17, 2021. They are also breaking for the Winter Universiade in Switzerland. According to the release, this also gives the league some leeway with scheduling in case they need to postpone games again.

“A very difficult season awaits us, but we tried to make the calendar as convenient as possible for everyone. As always, we first of all tried to take into account the interests of the national teams in preparation for international competitions and the interests of our clubs,” said Sergey Yakovlev, Head of the Department for the Development of ZhKhL, in the league’s release.

The ZhHL saw some upheaval this offseason. Dynamo St. Petersburg announced in July they were cutting their women’s teams for the 2020-2021 season due to budget issues. The league confirmed the change on Aug. 7, when they announced a new team: the 7.62 out of the Moscow region.