In what should have been the first week of pre-season workouts in a normal MIAA winter sports season, athletic directors and coaches are now hard at work finalizing schedules for the upcoming season, still on track to start with practices on December 14th.
Here are a handful of new wrinkles on tap for this season in MIAA Girls Hockey.
Catholic Central League
This loop will feature nine teams this winter, with the addition of Bishop Feehan, Bishop Stang and Bishop Fenwick. Plans call for three 3-team divisions, with each team playing the other two teams in its division twice, and all other teams once for a total of 10 league games.
North Division: St. Mary’s, Austin Prep, Bishop Fenwick
Central Division: Matignon, Arlington Catholic, St Joseph/Mt. Alvernia
South Division: Archbishop Williams, Bishop Feehan, Bishop Stang
Merrimack Valley Conference/Dual County League
The MVC/Dual County League will split for this season, with MVC teams playing each other and Dual County League teams playing each other.
The MVC will feature five teams: Andover, Central Catholic, Billerica/Chelmsford, Methuen/Tewksbury and HPNA. Each team will play the other three times, for a total of 12 league games.
The Dual County League will have eight teams, split into 2 four-team groups.
One group will consist of Acton-Boxboro, Westford Academy, Lincoln-Sudbury and Concord-Carlisle. The other features Waltham, Boston Latin, Cambridge and Wayland/Weston.
The four teams in each group will play each other twice for a total of six “division” games. They will also play four other games within the league, some crossover and some not. For example, Acton-Boxboro and Westford Academy are scheduled to play four times, as are Wayland/Weston-Boston Latin and Concord/Carlisle-Cambridge, giving each team a minimum of 10 overall games.
For this year, the Patriot League will expand to 12 teams, with two divisions of six teams each. Teams will play each team in its own division twice, plus two teams in the other division for a total of 12 games.
One division will feature Duxbury, Hingham, Marshfield, Whitman-Hanson/Silver Lake, Norwell and Notre Dame.
The other division conists of Cohasset/Hanover, Pembroke, Plymouth, Quincy/North Quincy, Scituate and new varsity program East Bridgewater/West Bridgewater.
The Patriot League is also planning to host a post-season league tournament, similar to those offered during fall sports.
As is the case with everything these days, things are still subject to change.