CHICAGO, IL - The United States Hockey League (USHL) and its participating Member Clubs announced Tuesday the 2020-21 regular season schedule.
This season will consist of 54 games for each team in a regionally-based schedule. Preseason matchups for the upcoming season will be released at a later date.
The 24-week regular season is scheduled to begin Thursday, Nov. 5 when the Sioux Falls Stampede visit the Des Moines Buccaneers and concludes on Saturday, Apr. 24.
“Today is an important day for our league as we release the 2020-21 schedule and further our preparations for a November 5 start to the regular season,” said USHL President and Commissioner Tom Garrity.
The 2020-21 season will feature the second annual Frosty Cup, hosted by the Dallas Stars. The Tri-City Storm and Omaha Lancers will meet for a pair of games on January 29 and 30 at Comerica Center in Frisco, Tex. More information regarding the Frosty Cup will be released at a later date.
On September 18, the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and Madison Captiols announced they would suspend operations for the upcoming season due to substantial rink damage and significant county restrictions related to COVID-19, respectively. The 14-team schedule released today includes six teams in the Eastern Conference and eight teams in the Western Conference.
“The regional schedule model was created with the idea of reducing team travel wherever possible while maximizing regional rivalries,” said Garrity. “It is built with flexibility to allow for the rescheduling of games as needed.”
Preparations have begun in many USHL markets for the 2020-21 season. Under the League’s Return to Play Protocol, which was ratified by the USHL Board of Directors on September 1, players are permitted to arrive in market between September 14 and October 12 in preparation for the regular season.
“Our intake process was designed to help provide for a safe and healthy arrival of our players as they begin the on and off-ice development that our league is known for,” said Garrity. “It is deliberate in nature as we continue to place the health and well-being of our players, staff and billets above all else.”
Member Clubs are working with health and government officials regarding spectator policies for the 2020-21 season. Each team will develop its own plan for spectators based on local and state guidelines.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the 2020-21 season will be the USHL's 19th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league. The USHL had 55 players selected at the 2019 NHL Draft and have 542 players eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft, including 84 on the NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings issued in April. More than 800 league alumni are currently on NCAA Division I rosters, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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