The schedule of the Bemidji State men’s hockey team took another hit Tuesday morning when Minnesota State announced that this weekend’s series against the Beavers in Mankato has been postponed due to positive COVID-19 test results within the program. The teams had been scheduled to play nonconference games Friday and Saturday. No make-up dates have been announced.
Monday’s nonconference series finale between the teams in Bemidji was postponed when MSU learned of positive COVID-19 tests within the program. COVID-19 testing is conducted three times per week in accordance with state guidelines and Western Collegiate Hockey Association Return to Competition protocols.
Contract tracing determined that others within the program who were deemed close contacts would need to quarantine or isolate in accordance with established protocols and guidance provided by health officials. The quarantine and isolation periods would then conclude with a phased return to activity and cardiac protocols that can vary based on the severity of symptoms.
Minnesota State has paused all team activities due to the positive test results.
"It's an unfortunate turn of events, as I know how excited our coaches and players were to get back on the ice. The team looked very impressive in that season-opening game against Bemidji State," MSU athletic director Kevin Buisman said in a statement. "It's important, however, that we maintain safety as our top priority. The health and personal welfare of our student-athletes and coaches will always come first. We will implement appropriate medical protocols during this pause in activity and look forward to the opportunity to return to competition after carefully and thoughtfully following that guidance."
The Mavericks defeated BSU 5-0 in Sunday’s season opener at the Sanford Center.
Elsewhere in the WCHA, positive COVID-19 test results within the Northern Michigan program have forced the postponement of one league game and the cancelation of five nonconference games, including a Dec. 4-5 series against Bemidji State in Marquette, Mich.
The schedule changes have left the Beavers with only one series currently on the docket before the holiday break: a Dec. 12-13 nonconference home series against Michigan Tech. After that, their next scheduled series is the WCHA opener Jan. 7-8 at Bowling Green.