The National Women’s Hockey League announced its schedule for the 2021 season, to be held from Jan. 23 to Feb. 5 all in one location — Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid — to minimize the risk of players and staff contracting the coronavirus.
A 4 p.m. matchup between the Boston Pride and the Minnesota Whitecaps, finalists for the last year’s Isobel Cup — the NWHL’s championship award — highlights the season-opening triple-header on Jan. 23. The two teams were originally scheduled to play for the title on March 13, 2020, two days after the NBA shut down due to COVID-19. The game was postponed and later cancelled due to the pandemic.
The NWHL introduces a sixth team, the Toronto Six, to join the existing franchises (Pride, Whitecaps, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, and Metropolitan Riveters). Toronto opens the season against the Riveters at 1 p.m. on Jan. 23.
After each team plays five regular-season games, the league moves to a round-robin format to determine the four semifinals.
The semifinals are on Feb. 4 and the championship is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Feb. 5. Both the semifinals and finals will be broadcast live on NBC Sports.
2021 National Women’s Hockey League Schedule
Saturday, Jan. 23
1 p.m.: Toronto Six at Metropolitan Riveters
4 p.m.: Boston Pride at Minnesota Whitecaps
7 p.m.: Connecticut Whale at Buffalo Beauts
Sunday, Jan. 24
1 p.m.: Minnesota Whitecaps at Toronto Six
4 p.m.: Metropolitan Riveters at Connecticut Whale
7 p.m.: Buffalo Beauts at Boston Pride
Tuesday, Jan. 26
5:30 p.m.: Minnesota Whitecaps at Metropolitan Riveters
8:30 p.m.: Toronto Six at Boston Pride
Wednesday, Jan. 27
5:30 p.m.: Boston Pride at Connecticut Whale
8:30 p.m.: Metropolitan Riveters at Buffalo Beauts
Thursday, Jan. 28
5:30 p.m.: Buffalo Beauts at Toronto Six
8:30 p.m.: Connecticut Whale at Minnesota Whitecaps
Saturday, Jan. 30
12:00 p.m.: Connecticut Whale at Toronto Six
3:00 p.m.: Minnesota Whitecaps at Buffalo Beauts
6:00 p.m.: Boston Pride at Metropolitan Riveters
Regular season round-robin
Sunday, Jan. 31
2:00 p.m.: No. 4 seed at No. 3 seed
5:00 p.m.: No. 6 seed at No. 2 seed
8:00 p.m.: No. 5 seed at No. 1 seed
Tuesday, Feb. 2
5:30 p.m.: No. 6 seed at No. 1 seed
8:30 p.m.: No. 4 seed at No. 2 seed
Wednesday, Feb. 3
7:00 p.m.: No. 5 seed at No. 3 seed.
Isobel Cup semifinals (Teams re-seeded in order of best records)
Thursday, Feb. 4
5:30 p.m.: Fourth-place team at regular-season champs
8:00 p.m.: Third-place team at Second-place team
Isobel Cup final
Friday, Feb. 5
7 p.m.: Semifinal winner vs. semifinal winner.