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Penn State Hockey: Big Ten Announces Start Date, No Fans At Pegula This Season

by on October 06, 2020 4:20 PM

The Big Ten announced Tuesday that the 2020-21 hockey season will begin as soon as November 13 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 hockey season builds on the rich traditions of Big Ten Hockey and brings new competitive opportunities to the Conference with the Arizona State University scheduling agreement,” said Commissioner Kevin Warren. “As our teams return to competition, we will continue to keep the health and safety of our student-athletes at the forefront of our decisions."

Penn State had yet to announce any out of conference games prior to Tuesday's news. A previously scheduled meeting against North Dakota in Nashville had already been postponed until the 2021 season. That game technically a home contest for North Dakota. The league stated that it will release the complete schedule plus television and other information at a later date.

Arizona State had agreed to undergo the same testing and COVID-19 procedures as the rest of its now fellow Big Ten members. Student-athletes, coaches and others around every fall and winter sports program are currently being tested daily. The league has foot the bill for testing across the conference, it's unclear if that holds true for Arizona State and partial Big Ten member program Notre Dame.

Additionally, the Big Ten Conference Tournament will return to its single-elimation format and will take place over one weekend March 18-20. Only the original seven Big Ten teams will be eligible for the conference's tournament which grants the winner an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. 

Arizona State is normally not affiliated with any conference during regular and postseason play.

"We are thankful to the Big Ten and each individual university for the sacrifices they've made to allow our hockey season to begin this semester," Penn State coach Guy Gadowsky said in a press release. "We have been working extremely hard within Penn State's safety protocols since returning to campus and are looking forward to getting back to competition come mid-November."

Under current state guidance, public tickets will not be sold for 2020-21 Penn State hockey games. A program spokesperson confirmed that the ticketing sales ruling was current, relative to indoor and outdoor gathering guidance amended on Tuesday morning by the state.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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