No. 13 men’s hockey vs. New Hampshire cancelled due to COVID-19 case

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Jim Pierce

The Men’s Hockey team will not be playing this weekend against University of New Hampshire as scheduled.

Erin Walsh, news staff

Hockey East announced Tuesday that this weekend’s home-and-home series between the No. 13 Northeastern men’s hockey team and the University of New Hampshire will not be played as scheduled. 

According to a tweet from Mark Divver of the New England Hockey Journal, Huskies head coach Jim Madigan informed him that a player tested positive for COVID-19 Friday, forcing the team to go into quarantine. However, NU has not confirmed a player has tested positive. NU said the team will participate in virtual workouts and team meetings this week in order to stay busy while in isolation. The Huskies watched a comedy show on Monday night and will listen to a motivational speaker on Tuesday evening. 

The Huskies have not played since Jan. 13 against UNH, a 7-0 win over the Wildcats. NU’s series against No. 1 Boston College on Jan. 15 and 16 was postponed after a positive COVID-19 test result within NU’s non-player or coach Tier 1 personnel. 

The men’s hockey team had not had any direct contact with COVID-19 this season until Madigan was unable to coach last week after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. It is unclear who returned the first positive test.

At the beginning of the winter sports season, several COVID-19 outbreaks within various NU teams forced all programs to postpone their opening games. While the men’s hockey team did not return any positive tests or close contacts, it was still affected by this postponement. The Huskies didn’t open the season until Dec. 12. 

NU was coming into this weekend’s series against UNH on a three-game winning streak, with two wins over Merrimack College and one over the Wildcats after losing both games to the University of Massachusetts Amherst to kick off 2021. 

Any momentum the Huskies had built entering the weekend will be tough to build upon in the upcoming weeks and preparing for opponents will become significantly more challenging. With several programs dealing with COVID-19 issues, Hockey East announced Tuesday that the remainder of games this season would be scheduled on a weekly basis, abandoning the predetermined schedule that was made in the preseason. 

At this point, it is unclear who NU’s next opponent will be and when the team will return to the ice. If the Huskies experience further COVID-19 complications, they could be forced to sit out for a third straight week. 

The men’s hockey teams will play 20 games this season, Hockey East said when it initially announced the regular-season schedule. If this remains the case, the Huskies have nine games remaining. If they play two games per week beginning the week of Jan. 24, the Huskies regular-season would end in early March. All Hockey East teams will make the playoffs regardless of the final standings due to implications from the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Huskies currently rank third in Hockey East with a 6-3-2 record, behind the No. 2 UMass Minutemen and No. 1 BC Eagles.