Big Ten Announces Start Date, Changes For 2020-21 Hockey Season

Big Ten hockey is back, folks.

The conference announced Tuesday it will begin the season as soon as November 13.

The 28-game slate will include 24 conference games along with four other games against Arizona State at Big Ten venues. The season will culminate in the Big Ten tournament, which will take place March 18-20.

This season’s tournament format will look different than previous years. All seven conference teams will qualify for the tournament and the format will be single-elimination over the span of one weekend.

In a press release, Red Berenson, special advisor to the commissioner for hockey operations, said, β€œThe 2020-21 schedule and the modified Big Ten Tournament format have been structured in a way that maximizes flexibility for the season.”

Big Ten hockey teams will follow the guidelines set by the Big Ten Return to Competition Task Force. It will include daily testing, enhanced cardiac screening, and an enhanced data-driven approach when making decisions about practice and competition.

The full schedule and further details regarding the Big Ten tournament will be released in the coming weeks.

In a separate press release from Penn State, the university stated no public tickets would be sold for the 2020-21 hockey season due to current state guidelines.

The Nittany Lions will try to replicate some of the success they had last season. Guy Gadowsky lead the Lions to a 20-10-4 record, good enough for the No. 8 ranking in the country. Their season ended when the Big Ten Tournament was shut down by the coronavirus, but Penn State was selected as regular season champions of the conference.

Penn State lost key players like Cole Hults, Evan Barrett, Nate Sucese, Peyton Jones, and Brandon Biro in the offseason. Gadowsky will rely on a mix of youth and experience to fill in the gaps left by those pieces.

Hockey joins basketball in the winter sports that will return to play this fall. The NCAA announced on September 16 that the basketball season would be free to start November 25.

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About the Author

Connor Donohue

Connor is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. He hails from the great state of New Jersey and is proud of it. Lover of the greatest city in the world, New York City, he strongly dislikes the city of Philadelphia and will not hesitate to tell you that. He's also been cursed as a Penn State fan since birth. If you want to call him a bum or maybe go out on a date with him, follow him on twitter @ConnorDonohue00 or email him at [email protected]

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