Normally we would have a little fun this time of year talking about the release of the upcoming season’s schedule, but what is normal these days?
The WCHA unveiled its 2020-21 conference schedule on Wednesday, although it’s unknown when college hockey will actually be played again.
The COVID-19 pandemic still putting sports in America on hold indefinitely, so consider the schedule tentative.
WCHA commissioner Bill Robertson told the Bemidji Pioneer that the league is developing potential models in case adjustments are needed. The season may not start if schools are continuing distance learning into the fall.
Most of the WCHA schools released their full schedules, but UAH was not one of them. UAH is opting to wait for more certainty before officially releasing its schedule.
We do know some things about 2020-21, however. The Chargers would play 18 home games, with four non-conference games in addition to the 14 WCHA games. Twelve of the 18 at the VBC would come before Christmas.
The two non-conference teams visiting will be UMass Lowell and Omaha, both of which UAH visited to start last season.
With everything obviously subject to change, here is the 2020-21 UAH hockey schedule so far:
Oct. 9-10 vs. UMass Lowell
Oct. 16-17 vs. Omaha
Oct. 23-24 at Ferris State
Oct. 31-Nov. 1 vs. Alaska
Nov. 6-7 vs. Michigan Tech
Nov. 13-14 vs. Bowling Green
Dec. 4-5 vs. Bemidji State
Dec. 11-12 at Alaska
Jan. 1-2 at Lake Superior State
Jan. 8-9 vs. Minnesota State
Jan. 22-23 at Alaska Anchorage
Jan. 29-30 vs. Ferris State
Feb. 5-6 at Michigan Tech
Feb. 12-13 vs. Lake Superior State
Feb. 19-20 at Northern Michigan
Feb. 26-27 at Bowling Green
Latta transfers to Lowell: The Chargers lost their promising rookie from last season, and might see him on the opposing bench this fall.
Josh Latta, who lead the Chargers in scoring as a freshman last season, announced on April 22 that he was transferring to UMass Lowell.
Latta had seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points in 2019-20. Two of those assists game in the season-opening series at Lowell, which UAH lost 5-1 and 3-1.
If a new transfer rule gets passed by the NCAA, or if Latta receives a waiver, he could be eligible to play for the River Hawks this coming season. That would mean he would face his former Charger teammates on Oct. 9-10 at the VBC.
Recruiting updates: Aidan Flynn, a forward from Spring Hill, Tenn. who is expected to join the Chargers in 2021, is moving up to the AJHL. He signed with the Lloydminster Bobcats on Monday.
Flynn had 40 points in 53 games with the Nashville Jr. Predators last season.
On April 10, UAH got a commitment from Jacob Franczak to join the Chargers this fall. The foward from Edmonton scored 18 goals and 43 points in 53 games with Sherwood Park of the AJHL.
Franczak would be the third forward from Edmonton and Sherwood Park in this recruiting class, joining William Zapernick and Jarred White.
Speaking of Zapernick, the CBC did a feature on him and his friend, Brown University recruit Matthew Kinash, on how they are preparing for college hockey while self-isolating during the pandemic.
Long Island going D-I: In a move that took literally almost everyone in college hockey by surprise, Long Island University announced last week that it was planning to establish a Division I men’s hockey program to begin play this fall.
The timing raises many questions. Schedules for this season are essentially already done, and as stated before, it’s not a given that the 2020-21 season will start on time. LIU, which started a women’s hockey program last year, has no coach, no players, and no established place to play yet.