The second edition of the Connecticut Ice Festival is over before it even began. The hockey tournament between the four men’s Division I programs in Connecticut — UConn, Sacred Heart, Quinnipiac and Yale — was canceled due to “risks associated with COVID-19”, SNY announced on Thursday.
This doesn’t spell the end for the event, though. The four schools agreed to continue the event for at least two more years at Webster Bank Arena. The tournament will be held on Jan. 29 and 30 in 2022 and on Jan. 28 and 29 in 2023.
“As disappointed as we are about the festival in 2021, we are thrilled that all of our key partners have committed to the future of Connecticut Ice and the opportunity to keep growing hockey in the state,” SNY President Steve Raab said in a release. “Never did we think, when we left Webster Bank Arena after the championship game this past January, that we would be in the position we are today. With so many levels of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, we simply can’t produce the festival in the manner it deserves. We look forward to welcoming everybody back in 2022 and we will not stop working hard to build on the momentum developed during our first year.”
UConn went 0-2 in the inaugural CT Ice this past season, falling 3-2 to Quinnipiac in the opening round and 3-2 again to Yale in the consolation game despite outplaying both teams. Sacred Heart were the first-ever champions of the tournament.
The status of the 2020-21 Division I ice hockey season remains unclear. The individual conferences are in charge of their respective seasons after the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) — the body which represent all 11 DI hockey conferences — pushed the start of the season back from October.
As of now, Hockey East hasn’t announced its plans for the upcoming season, though it stated in July that it will prioritize “competition between league members and the completion of a regular-season schedule.”