And on Wednesday, the Bulldogs men’s hockey team became the fourth along with women’s hockey and men’s and women’s basketball to be forced to hit the pause button on the league at some point this season this season. either due to a positive COVID-19 test result or due to possible exposure to the coronavirus within its own ranks.
This weekend, the UMD men’s hockey series against Miami in Oxford, Ohio, was delayed by the NCHC to January 29-30 in accordance with the league’s COVID-19 protocols, thanks to a combination of positive COVID-19 tests, contact tracking and subsequent quarantine of individuals.
This is the second roster change for men’s hockey after a positive test within the Colorado College program in November forced the shift of the NCHC Pod schedule at the Baxter Arena in Omaha, Nebraska. The Bulldogs’ schedule in the Pod was cut from 10 games to nine as a second showdown with the Tigers was postponed until Thursday, Feb. 18 in Duluth.
Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said his team are all currently in quarantine and will not be able to practice at Amsoil Arena this week. Strength and conditioning coach Jason Aldrich is currently doing off-ice Zoom workouts. Wednesday was yoga with the team.
Hopefully, we might be able to get back on the ice next week, but it could be outdoors and by household, Sandelin said.
While most of the NCHC has already passed some sort of hiatus due to positive COVID-19 test results including two other teams this month this is a first for Bulldogs. Asked who he reached out to for advice on how to deal with the situation, Sandelin said he had already been in touch with his son Ryan, a sophomore at Minnesota State-Mankato.
They’ve been through it a few times, so pretty good first-hand experience, Scott Sandelin said of Ryan and the Mavericks. Just getting a player’s perspective, especially as he said it is difficult. You get to work and you want to continue and suddenly there is a closure. It’s something we’ve been preparing guys for all year round.
Minnesota Duluth players rush to celebrate with Naomi Rogge (9) after scoring back-to-back goals against St. Cloud State on December 4 at Amsoil Arena in Duluth. (Clint Austin / 2020 File / News Tribune)
After their last two series have been postponed but not yet moved due to COVID-19, the UMD ice hockey team is scheduled to play its first games in 41 days on Friday and Saturday when Ohio State visits the Amsoil Arena. The puck drop is scheduled for Friday 6:07 PM and Saturday 3:07 PM.
The December 11-12 Wisconsin Bulldogs series was called off after a COVID-19 outbreak in the Badgers program last month. UMD’s first series of 2021, a road trip to play Minnesota in Minneapolis on January 4-5, was subsequently axed because UMD was unable to meet the minimum number of players required to compete, as a result of injuries and illnesses.
Bulldogs coach Maura Crowell said on Wednesday that her team will not have the full roster available this weekend, but they will have enough players available to meet the WCHAs of at least 15. Contact. trace, she said.
The word pivot that everyone has used so often in 2020 and now in 2021, that’s what it’s all about, Crowell said. It’s challenging because you don’t know when to expect things. You are informed and you have to turn quickly and adjust your lines and different situations and move on from there.
We’ve had the next guy mindset all year round and now it’s getting a little bit more real for us. While it’s a shame we won’t have everyone, other people will get the chance, so that’s a positive. The more people get gaming experience, the better off we are.
UMD basketball at many NSIC teams dealing with COVID-19
Ann Simonet (right) (11) of Minnesota Duluth responds as Natasha Elliott (second from right) (4) of Minot State rebounded in the second half of Friday, January 8 at Romano Gymnasium on the UMD campus. (Tyler Schank / File / News Tribune)
Men’s hockey was not the only team at UMD to have games canceled this week. On Monday, UMD announced that the women’s basketball series was canceled this weekend at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota due to previous exposure and testing protocols.
NSIC, which started playing for men’s and women’s basketball this month, isn’t making up games that can’t be played this season.
The second game of UMD women’s basketball was canceled on January 3 due to a positive test in the Winona State program, which the Bulldogs had just played and defeated in Winona the day before.
Coach Mandy Pearsons’ team didn’t have their full roster when it last weekend played with only nine players against Minot State at Romano Gymnasium. The Beavers had also canceled their games in St. Cloud State this week from an abundance of caution based on COVID-19 protocols.
You are now looking around our league and nine games were canceled for the first two weekends, Pearson said. There are so many different situations with exposure. Our university takes every precaution to ensure that everyone stays safe. We want to be part of the solution and not the problem with the virus. When we have exposures and things like that, we have to take precautions.
Drew Blair (22) of Minnesota Duluth checks the ball at Devin Whitelow (20) of Winona State on Jan. 3 at the Romano Gymnasium in Duluth. (Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune)
Like the women’s basketball team, the January 3 game against Winona State was also canceled due to positive tests within the Bulldogs basketball program’s Warriors program. While subsequent contact tracking determined that the women could continue with their season last week, the men were unable to do so due to possible exposure from their January 2 game against the Warriors in Duluth. That resulted in games being canceled on January 8-9 in Minot State.
The men’s basketball team finally held its first full team practice again on Wednesday and is currently on track to receive Mary at Romano Gym on Friday 6pm and Saturday 4pm.
The team has one more round of testing to pass before going clear, but coach Justin Wieck said he and his players will hopefully be able to play their second and third games of the season this weekend.
Wednesday would be the teams’ first full practice together since they were quarantined after January 2’s game against Winona State.
We came back to the track yesterday. This is kind of our first kind of real exercise, Wieck said. Hopefully we managed to dust off some cobwebs yesterday. It wasn’t the nicest workout I’ve ever participated in, so hopefully we can have two workouts here to get us ready for Friday.
But our boys are just excited to play. The testing part of it is simply the fear of going through that process. That will be the case all season. Hopefully we can get out there again on Friday and get these guys back on the field.
Minnesota Duluth played men’s basketball against Winona State on January 2 at an empty Romano Gymnasium in Duluth. (Clint Austin / [email protected])
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