The final two series of 2020 for the University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team (1-1-0) have been canceled. The Badgers were scheduled to play Minnesota-Duluth Dec. 11-12 and Ohio State Dec. 18-19, but multiple positive COVID-19 tests forced Wisconsin to cancel.
“Due to positive COVID-19 cases and injuries in the Badgers’ program, the team would not have the minimum number of student-athletes available to play the two series,” UW Athletics said in a release.
The Western College Hockey Association requires all teams to dress 15 players, including one goalie, in order to be eligible. Based on the aforementioned release, the cancellation comes not only because of COVID-19, but also player injuries. While we do not know who or how many players have either tested positive for COVID-19, are deemed to be close contacts or are injured, we do know that the COVID-19 outbreak is severe enough to cancel three weekends worth of games.
The WCHA says in their return to play section of their protocols that all athletes testing positive for COVID-19 must complete a 21-day quarantine and all athletes that come into close contact with someone COVID-19 positive must quarantine for 14 days, regardless of whether or not they test positive. In addition, all athletes with a positive test must pass a screening that monitors the virus’s effects on their heart.
With these two series being canceled, in addition to last weekend’s series against Minnesota, the 2020 portion of the Badgers’ schedule is now over after just two games. It is unclear whether the team will make up the six canceled games in the second part of the season, but we should have an answer to that question, as well as the full second half of the schedule, in the next few days.