With a fraction of the teams participating, the NCAA Division I men’s hockey tournament has already seen twice as many teams impacted by COVID-19 as its basketball counterpart.
“It’s an unfortunate situation and I feel for our guys, especially our seniors,” Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson said in the university’s release, which noted the decision was made in consultation with the Albany County Public Health Department and the NCAA Medical Advisory Group. “The team was excited about returning to the NCAA tournament and ready to continue competing after earning the opportunity. But with the multiple positives and subsequent contact tracing it became clear that for the safety of our team and the others in the tournament we could not proceed.”
Now, it’ll be a 15-team tournament, with No. 1 Boston College advancing automatically after Saturday’s game against No. 4 Notre Dame was declared a no contest.
St. Lawrence was impacted early enough that Quinnipiac, the regular-season ECAC Hockey conference champions while St. Lawrence won the tournament title, took their spot in the field.
Notre Dame’s release said the team went through seven rounds of COVID-19 testing in the seven days prior to leaving Wednesday for Albany, New York. The Fighting Irish finished with a 14-13-2 record.
The men’s basketball tournament got through its first full week of the tournament with just one team — VCU — being removed due to COVID-19 positives. The basketball tournament will resume play Saturday with 16 teams remaining.
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