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NWHL announces schedule for two-week season in Lake Placid bubble

The Boston Pride will return to the ice after a nearly year-long hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Boston Pride will return to the ice after a nearly year-long hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.Michelle Jay

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.

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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

Regular season

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

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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.