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Start of D1 college hockey season officially delayed

The Hockey Commissioners Association officially pushed the season back.

NCAA Division I Women’s Ice Hockey Championship Photo by Carlos Gonzalez/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Shortly after athletes returned to their college campuses, the Hockey Commissioners Association officially announced the start of the Division 1 women’s hockey’s season will be delayed due to COVID-19.

From the 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 eduction, the start of competition of the Division I college hockey season will be delayed.

Typically the season would be starting within weeks. The HCA said that each conference would announce their own plans.

The decision comes as teams have been posting on social media about players returning to campus and ice going down in rinks.

The WCHA provided their own statement that said they are focused on the players educations and are developing protocols to safely have a season.

On Aug. 11, WCHA commissioner Jennifer Flowers said in an interview with Madison.com that the conference was “eyeing the possibility they’ll have to push season openers back to January.” Previously, Hockey East said on July 30 that it intended to play a season by focusing on conference games. In addition, on July 8, the Ivy League pushed the start date of all sports to Jan. 1, impacting six ECAC schools. The other conferences had yet to make any statements, but three Long Island University (NEWHA) international players opted to play in Sweden instead of returning to the US. Matilda af Bjur told Hockey Sverige her decision to play in the SDHL was because the NCAA season wasn’t slated to start until January.