The 2020-21 schedule has been set for the Western Hockey League (WHL) hub centre starting next week in Regina.
East Division players with the Brandon Wheat Kings, Moose Jaw Warriors, Prince Albert Raiders, Regina Pats, Saskatoon Blades, Swift Current Broncos and Winnipeg Ice will return to regular-season action for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit roughly a year ago.
The teams will each play 24 games, which includes four tilts against the other six clubs.
It was announced on Wednesday that the East Division will kick off with a double-header on March 12 between the Warriors and Wheat Kings at 4 p.m., followed by the Pats taking on the Raiders.
The league said all games within the Regina bubble environment will take place with no spectators at the Brandt Centre or Co-operators Centre.
“The WHL has developed an extensive set of protocols and believe the protective hub environment will provide a high standard of safety, for not only players and staff, but the Regina community at large. The WHL will implement an ongoing weekly (private polymerase chain reaction) testing strategy,” read a statement.
“Enhanced screening for all WHL players, billets, team staff and officials will take place on a daily basis, including regular temperature screenings as well as symptom monitoring through the WHL Athlete RMS Mobile Application.”
The league announced on Tuesday that it was granted approval by the B.C. Provincial Health Office to play exclusively in two hub centres in Kamloops and Kelowna.
The five WHL clubs forming the B.C. Division will also play a 24-game schedule beginning on March 26.
Approval of the B.C. Division ensures all 22 WHL teams will compete during the 2020-21 regular season. The WHL Central Division started on Feb. 26 while the U.S. Division begins on March 19.
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