The NWHL released its 2016-17 regular season schedule Monday morning, marking the start of regular season ticket sales for the women’s league.
As previously indicated, the season will open Oct. 7 in Buffalo, N.Y. with a weekend with three different games featuring all four teams. The season runs until Apr. 16. Each team will play 20 games total; Boston and Buffalo, the two finalists from last season, will play 11 home games while Connecticut and New York will only have ten apiece.
The majority of games are still held on Sundays, but there is now a spread between Friday evenings, Saturday afternoons and Sunday afternoons. Last season, many games started as late as 7:30pm on Sundays, which was frequently exhausting for those players who had full time jobs. Instead, the latest Sunday start is a lone 5:00 pm early in the season between Connecticut and New York, two teams with a relatively short distance between their home rinks.
The new postseason schedule has been a concern for many of the U.S. women’s national team players due to its length. Early versions of the schedule which Today’s SlapShot accessed in June, showed the postseason ending mid-June of 2017, just before the USWNT’s annual off-ice June camp, which marks the start of their offseason training after a break of what is typically nearly two months.
However, the finalized postseason schedule has not yet been released, nor are there any details on whether we will see another Winter Classic faceoff between the NWHL and CWHL as we did last year.