CALGARY, AB – The Western Hockey league announced late Friday that it’s U.S. Division will start the regular season next month.

The news comes after an update from Washington State regarding Sporting Activities COVID-19 Requirements issued on Feb. 1 which allows the WHL to return to play in Washington State.

The WHL’s five American teams – the Everett Silvertips, Portland Winterhawks, Seattle Thunderbirds, Spokane Chiefs, and Tri-City Americans – will only play against each other.

The Regular Season schedule for the U.S. Division will be announced at a later date, but the WHL says it’s set to open on Friday, March 19.

No spectators will be allowed in the arenas.

The five Alberta based WHL teams were given the green light late last month to proceed with a condensed 24 game regular season schedule with an opening day of Feb. 26.

Teams will play a home and home format on weekends followed by a five day break.