The United States Hockey League released the following statement this afternoon:
The United States Hockey League (USHL), the only Tier I junior hockey league in the United States, announced Tuesday that it has targeted Friday, November 6 as the start of the 2020-2021 season. Under the plan, teams will play 54 regular season games between November 6, 2020 and April 24, 2021.
Players are scheduled to arrive in market over a four-week period beginning September 14 with preseason games targeted to begin in mid-October. All activities are designed to take place in accordance with local, state and federal guidelines as well as the League’s Return to Play Protocols which are currently being finalized.
The regular season schedule allows for flexibility for games to be moved to the back of the schedule due to postponements, capacity restrictions, or other factors.
“We have created a plan to bring players to our markets and in order to safely begin development and ultimately competition,” said USHL President and Commissioner Tom Garrity. “Should conditions change, this plan will allow our league the flexibility to react to new circumstances, and we will adjust accordingly.”
The plan was formulated in consultation with all USHL Member Clubs. The league expects to announce the release of its 54-game regular season schedule in the coming weeks.
The Waterloo Black Hawks issued the statement below, related to the league's announcement:
The Black Hawks and our fans are excited to have a target for the organization’s most anticipated season in nearly six decades of hockey in the Cedar Valley. Many questions are left to be answered about the fan experience at Young Arena, and as an organization, we are just as eager to have those answers as the fans who are asking. However, we intend to give thorough and deliberative consideration all COVID-19 health and safety-related issues using all the resources available to us. This will ensure we don’t just have answers, but the right answers.
Today represents an important step. We know that the number of games to be played this season will be consistent with the USHL’s historical standards. We know more about how and when players will be arriving. We do not have a definitive indication how many home games will be played at Young Arena, but we can approximate when the first ones will be scheduled. Between now and then, there will probably be several more days like this one: days when we know a little more than we did, but still not everything. The Black Hawks would like to thank you for your patience as we move incrementally closer to the day we are all waiting for: the day when it is once again "Hockey Time in Party Town!"