WCHA announce a delayed start for the 2020-2021 hockey season

Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 7:46 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - On September 10, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association announced that they will be delaying the start of the 2020-2021 hockey season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The WCHA was slated to open their season on October 3, but after numerous meetings with member schools that include the University of Alaska Fairbanks, they decided to push the date back.

"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.” said WCHA Men’s League Commissioner Bill Robertson. “There was a strong desire to open the season as scheduled on October 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.”

UAF Vice Chancellor Keith Champagne has been one of the voices in favor of pushing the season back citing health concerns for student-athletes.

“I’m very supportive of that decision because that it is a decision where we are placing the health and the welfare and well-being of our student-athletes at the forefront,” said Champagne. "So it’s not just about us playing hockey but trying to figure out what’s the best way to keep our student-athletes safe as we move forward with the restart and throughout the season.”

The new 2020-21 league schedule and details regarding non-league play and the WCHA postseason tournament will be announced later this fall.

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