For the second weekend in a row, UConn men’s hockey won’t face its originally scheduled opponent. On Tuesday, the University of Maine announced it will pause winter athletics after “positive test results on campus, including among individuals involved with the varsity athletic programs,” according to a release from the school. It will re-evaluate the situation on Dec. 8.
UConn was set to face the Black Bears this weekend at Freitas Ice Forum with games on Saturday and Sunday. Now, the Huskies will wait to see if Hockey East can line up a new opponent for them.
UPDATE: UConn announced that it will not play any games this weekend.
This isn’t the first disruption to UConn’s schedule. The Huskies were supposed to open the season with Vermont but that got called off after the Catamounts suspended winter sports through Dec. 18. Hockey East eventually orchestrated a two-game set with UMass which ended up being the only men’s games played in what was supposed to the conference’s opening weekend.
Maine is now the third Hockey East school to temporarily suspend winter sports, joining Northeastern and Vermont. At this point, it becomes difficult to see how the conference can continue playing. With COVID cases rising everywhere, Maine, Northeastern and Vermont likely won’t be the only schools to pause athletics in the near future.
However, UConn will continue trying to play, at least for now. Mike Cavanaugh’s squad has obviously already played its first games and will suit up this weekend if the conference can schedule a new opponent.
Meanwhile, the Huskies’ men’s basketball team is scheduled to open the season on Wednesday night against CCSU with a second game scheduled for Friday against Hartford. Geno Auriemma’s women’s basketball program shut down due to a positive COVID test on Tuesday but plans to continue after the 14-day quarantine passes — assuming everybody remains healthy.