NEWHA women’s hockey conference announces intent to return to ice in January

The New England Women’s Hockey Alliance announced Wednesday the league’s intent to return to play, starting in January 2021.

“The New England Women’s Hockey Alliance is moving forward with plans to play a condensed conference schedule starting in January,” said NEWHA commissioner Bob DeGregorio in a statement. “Administrative representatives from each member institution have met on a weekly basis over the prior weeks and months to discuss schedules, postseason formats, and most importantly, the health and safety of NEWHA student-athletes, coaches, officials and the campus communities at large.

“Outside of a regular season schedule carefully crafted by the NEWHA office, member institutions will be able to schedule non-league contests should they elect to do so. Furthermore, all NEWHA members will implement a rigorous testing program that includes student-athletes, officials, coaches and support staff members. All return to play guidelines are rooted in local, state and NCAA health and safety protocols.”

Detailed information regarding the NEWHA return to play plans is forthcoming. A complete league schedule will be released on an institution-by-institution basis.

The NEWHA is comprised of two NCAA Division I schools and four NCAA Division II schools. Members of the league include Franklin Pierce, Long Island, Post, Sacred Heart, Saint Anselm, and Saint Michael’s.

Post, however, has canceled winter sports and is not playing this season.

Stonehill will add women’s hockey as its 23rd varsity athletic program and has accepted an invitation to compete in the NEWHA starting with the 2022-23 academic year.