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Finlandia’s hockey league delays start of season till January

HANCOCK — The Northern Collegiate Hockey Association, an NCAA Division III conference that includes the Finlandia University men’s and women’s hockey teams, has announced that it will delay the start of its fall and winter league season until at least January due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Playing nonconference competition during this 2020 calendar year remains at the discretion of individual conference institutions and will not be governed by the conference.

NCHA athletic directors made the decision to protect the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, staff and administration, their families, and broader campus and local communities, according to announcements released by both Finlandia and the NCHA.

This decision is based on guidance from national, state and local health officials, as well as NCAA recommendations and campus policies.

Finlandia, which joined the NCHA in 2004, was originally scheduled to begin its men’s season on Oct. 23 and play 14 games before Jan. 1, while the women’s team was set to start Oct. 30 and play nine games before the first of next year. No word came from Finlandia whether any of all nonconference games will be played on originally scheduled dates or at all.

The NCHA’s 11 members are in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota. They include Adrian, Trine, Concordia Wisconsin, St. Norbert, Lawrence, St. Scholastica, Lake Forest, Aurora, Marian and the Milwaukee School of Engineering, with nine of those schools having both men’s and women’s teams.

The conference schedule will be adjusted based on state and local public health officials, NCAA and institutional guidance and adjustments to national championship dates.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

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