The WCHA announced today that the conference would be postponing the start of its hockey season that was slated to start on Oct. 3. BGSU was supposed to open up with a series against St. Lawrence on Oct. 9.
The WCHA is not alone in this decision as the Hockey Commissioners Association also announced that all six college hockey conferences would be delaying their season in a unified 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 of COVID-19 continues to have across the country and within higher education, the start of competition for the Division I college hockey season will be delayed,” the HCA said in an official statement.
The HCA also stated that each conference will announce their own plans for the season individually. This means that the college hockey season could happen without the participation of some conferences.
WCHA Men’s League Commissioner Bill Robertson also released a statement on the decision to postpone the season.
"There was a strong desire to open the season as scheduled on Oct. 3, but that is not possible given the realities we are facing. While we are still finalizing plans for our season at this point, we owe it to our student-athletes, coaches, officials and great fans to acknowledge the fact we will not begin play on time,” Robertson said.
The conference will continue to discuss how to play safely this season.
"We continue to engage in thorough evaluation and discussion of various options for safely opening the 2020-21 season, both nationally and within the WCHA, as the health and safety of everyone associated with our league is our top priority," Robertson said.
With this decision comes the removal of one of the options BGSU Hockey Head Coach Ty Eigner gave as potential start dates for the season. It now seems that conversations will hover around a start date after Thanksgiving, a start date at the beginning of the spring semester or cancelling the season entirely.
Details on the non-league and conference schedules for this season inside the WCHA will be announced later this fall according to the statement released on wcha.com.