ECAC Hockey announces men’s, women’s seasons will start in January with Clarkson, Colgate, Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence

ECAC Hockey announced Wednesday its men’s and women’s schedules for 2021, with league games featuring the four participating schools – Clarkson, Colgate, Quinnipiac and St. Lawrence – beginning in January.

The schedules feature six games against each team for the men’s programs (18 total), and four games against each team for the women’s programs (12 total). The schedules also align to ensure multiple teams do not travel to the same site on a given day in order to minimize contact tracing, and include “open” weekends, which can be utilized in the event there are interruptions to the originally scheduled contests due to COVID-19.

“We are excited to announce our men’s and women’s league schedules for 2021,” said ECAC Hockey commissioner Stephen Hagwell in a statement. “The compilation of the league schedules are the result of the collaboration of our administrators and coaches, who have worked tirelessly to create, to the extent possible, a safe and healthy environment in which our student-athletes have an opportunity to compete. We look forward with great anticipation to see how things play out during the season.”

The four participating programs will compete in single-elimination championships at the conclusion of the regular season. All postseason games will be held on campus sites.

The championship weekends will be held March 5-7 for the women, and March 18-20 for the men. The winners of the respective championships qualify to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

It will mark the first time since the 2014 season that the ECAC Hockey men’s championship will not be conducted at the 1980 Rink in Lake Placid, N.Y.

In accordance and compliance with regulations and guidelines set forth by State and local governments, and the NCAA, ECAC Hockey has adopted extensive protocols and standards that must be met by each program in order to compete safely. Protocols on testing, masking, travel, and several other potential areas of concern have been addressed. A working group consisting of physicians, trainers, league administrators, equipment managers, communications staff, and on-ice officials was formed to create the document over the course of several months.

At this time, fans will not be permitted in arenas during ECAC Hockey contests. For the third consecutive season, however, all games will be available on ESPN+ for $5.99 per-month or for international viewers on Stretch Internet.