NWHL cancels 2020 Isobel Cup Final due to pandemic

The NWHL has its eyes set on expanding to Canada, and likely the Greater Toronto Area. (Michelle Jay/NWHL)

The National Women’s Hockey League has cancelled the 2020 Isobel Cup Final, the league announced Friday.

The championship game between the top-seeded Boston Pride and the Minnesota Whitecaps was originally scheduled to be played in Boston on March 13 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“We’re very disappointed for these two great teams and the fans that we came one game shy of completing our season, but this global health crisis transcends sports,” NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan said in the league’s press release. “On a personal level, our focus remains on looking out for each other and taking care of our families. As a league and business, everything we’ve done since the pandemic began, and everything we will continue to do, is centred on being well-positioned for a safe return to play.”

Per the release, the decision to cancel the Final was a collaborative effort between the NWHL, its players’ association, staff, and the two teams’ leadership cores.

Rylan said the NWHL is targeting a mid-November start to the 2020-21 season, which is also slated to be the inaugural campaign of the league’s new Toronto expansion franchise.

“When the games begin again, we want to be the best we’ve ever been — for our fans, players, partners, and everyone who believes in the NWHL,” stated Rylan. “My thanks to all of you.”

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