The B1G announced on Tuesday (Oct 6) that there will be a 2020-2021 season. The Big Ten Conference stated “that the 2020-21 hockey season will begin as soon as November 13, 2020, and will feature 24-game conference schedules, plus an additional four games per school against Arizona State University hosted at Big Ten venues. The 2020-21 schedule will conclude March 18-20, 2021, with the Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament.”
Coach Jackson Response
ND Hockey Coach Jeff Jackson said “we’re excited Big Ten hockey will be back as early as mid-November. While following our University and athletic department’s health and safety protocols, we’ve been training and preparing for the upcoming season and today’s announcement will add to our energy and focus levels as we continue to develop our identity ahead of the 2020-21 season. We want to thank Commissioner Warren and the league’s head coaches and administrators for helping us find a safe way to return.”
The Big Ten Conference stated “Big Ten hockey teams will follow the same medical protocols that were developed by the Big Ten Return to Competition Task Force and announced on Sept. 16, 2020, including daily antigen testing, enhanced cardiac screening and an enhanced data-driven approach when making decisions about practice/competition. Arizona State has agreed to adhere to the same testing protocols as the Big Ten Conference.”
The B1G discussed the schedule as well “The 2020-21 schedule and the modified Big Ten Tournament format have been structured in a way that maximizes flexibility for the season,” said Red Berenson, Special Advisor to the Commissioner, Hockey Operations. “The opportunity to return to competition in mid-November and the scheduling agreement with Arizona State is an exciting time for Big Ten Hockey.”
The B1G also discussed the B1G tournament. “The 2021 Big Ten Hockey Tournament will return to the one-weekend, single-elimination format used during the first four years of Big Ten hockey and will feature all seven conference teams – Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin. The tournament will be held March 18-20 and will consist of six games (three games on Thursday; two games on Friday; and the championship game on Saturday).”
The Wrap Up
Notre Dame will be returning to the ice wanting to avenge their 2019/2020 season. The Irish finished the season overall 15-15-7, 9-9-6 (B1G), 8-8-3 (Home) and 7-7-4 (Road). Defensemen Matt Hellickson, Spencer Stastney. Forwards Cam Burke, Michael “Golden” Graham, Alex Steeves, Graham Slaggert, and Jake Pivonka, Matt Steeves, Colin Theisen and Pierce Crawford. The Irish will bring back some great talent from last season.
The Irish are going to miss their goaltender supreme Cale “Brickwall” Morris. Morris racked up 3,050 saves, 244 Goals Allowed (GA), and a .932 Save%. Senior Dillon St. Cyr will have big skates to fill in between the pipes.