Across the country, some collegiate conferences are already making a return to play.
The Big Ten announced that they would be returning to play football on Oct. 24, much to the delight of many football fans across the state.
However, while some conferences are making their return, others are deciding to wait just a little bit longer before they return to action.
On Sept. 10, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference announced that they would be delaying the start of their season. This move was approved by the NCHC board on Sept. 8 and will see the season start no earlier than Nov. 20 this year. For comparison, UNO hockey’s first game last season was Oct. 7 and their first NCHC game came on Nov. 15.
This move was instituted by the NCHC with the care of the athletes and fans being a main concern.
“The health and safety of all involved across the campus communities, particularly our student-athletes, is the top priority,” Commissioner Josh Fenton said. “We fully expect NCHC hockey to be back this season.”
For UNO hockey, this means that the longest offseason in program history will now be a little longer. Coach Mike Gabinet and his players will have more time to prepare for a season that they hope will be a successful one. Last year, the Mavericks were preparing for a highly anticipated matchup with the Denver Pioneers in the NCHC quarterfinals before their season was ended. Now, with a young core of players returning, Omaha will be looking to cause some noise in the NCHC this season.
What that season will look like though still remains to be seen. While a time frame has been put in place, there are still questions of how the NCHC will conduct the season. According to the NCHC, part of the reason for the delay was to have more time to formulate a plan.
Whether the season might take place in a bubble or in a conference-only setting, the NCHC will be working hand in hand with officials and athletes from member schools in order to devise a plan that is safe and viable for all. UNO hockey will be ready when the time comes.