As an unprecedented semester is coming to a close at UNH, a sense of normalcy will return before it is over. Recently, Hockey East released a teaser video on all of their social media platforms hinting at a return to play on Nov. 20. Wednesday Hockey East released the full tentative schedules for all teams.
Both the men and the women are making a return to the ice starting with matchups against Boston College on Nov. 20. The men’s team will kick-off their season on the road at Chestnut Hill. The women defend home ice in the Whittemore Center against the Eagles.
The next day the men will play in Durham for their home opener and the women travel to Chestnut Hill to play their first game in the road.
The men’s team battled No. 4 ranked BC three times last season, winning the first matchup 1-0 but losing the next 2-1. The Eagles and ‘Cats finished up their season series with a 3-3 tie in the Whittemore Center. Meanwhile, the women’s team won the season series 2-1 against the Eagles winning games 5-1 and 3-0.
The Men have a 26-game schedule ending on Mar. 6 against Vermont. The women face a 24-game schedule ending Feb. 27 against Merrimack; all schedules are tentative at this point.
The men’s team will look to get back into the playoffs after going 15-15-4 last season. Meanwhile, the No. 6 seeded women went 18-15-4 and made it past Providence in the Hockey East Quarterfinals making their first appearance in the semifinals in 10 years. Unfortunately, they did not advance further falling to No. 5 seeded UConn.
With this press release from America East also came one from UNH. Within it was a statement from UNH Director of Athletics Marty Scarano.
“It speaks to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved at the University, from President Dean’s leadership to all the students who have navigated their way through the semester,” Scarano said. “We are very proud of the way our staff, coaches and student-athletes have responded to this unprecedented challenge. Our Wildcats will now get the opportunity to represent the University doing what they love, but we also remain acutely aware of the danger of COVID-19 and will continue to maintain safety as the utmost priority above all else.”
Also included in the release was the information that no spectators will be allowed at all Wildcat home events in order to keep the safety of the participating student-athletes, coaches and essential staff their top priority while also keeping fans, families and community members away from any potential spread.
The press release stated, “this decision comes as a direct result of careful consideration and close collaboration with the CDC, the State of New Hampshire, the University, and conference partners in the America East Conference and Hockey East.”
UNH Athletics will go on playing games in empty buildings for the foreseeable future. Among those not allowed to attend include family and friends, students, faculty and staff, athletes and coaches from non-competing programs, season ticket members, spirit squad, band and the media.