Hockey

NWHL pushes back start of season to January, expects to play full shedule

The National Women's Hockey League is pushing back the start of its season from mid-November to January because of the new coronavirus pandemic.

League's 6th season delayed from original November start due to pandemic

Team Stecklein forward Allie Thunstrom shoots against Team Szabados goalie Shannon Szabados, from Edmonton, during the NWHL all-star game in February 2019. The league is hoping to begin its sixth season with a full 20-game schedule in January. (Mark Humphrey/The Associated Press)

The National Women's Hockey League is pushing back the start of its season from mid-November to January because of the new coronavirus pandemic.

The league announced Wednesday it still plans to have teams play a full 20-game season, with the playoffs to conclude by the end of March. Should time permit, the NWHL will schedule holding its traditional midseason all-star game after the playoffs.

The NWHL has six teams, with the addition of a Toronto expansion franchise. The league was unable to complete last season, having to cancel the championship game between Boston and Minnesota in mid-March because of COVID-19.

The NWHL plans to begin holding optional practices beginning the week of Sept. 21, followed by formal practices a month later. The schedule was determined by the league's COVID-19 safety committee formed in April.

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