Irish Hockey will not compete in NCAA Tournament after positive COVID-19 test
Observer Sports Staff | Friday, March 26, 2021
After positive COVID-19 test results within the team during tier 1 testing and a consultative decision made with the Albany County Public Health Department and NCAA Medical Advisory Group, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s hockey team will not be participating in the 2021 NCAA Division I Championship.
The Irish were selected as the fourth seed in the Albany Regional and had been slated to play the No.1 seed Boston College on Saturday, March 27th. The game will be ruled a no-contest and Boston College will advance to the second round.
On March 14, the Irish fell out of the Big Ten Championship to Penn State, losing 6-2. After this, Notre Dame continued to participate in Big Ten testing protocols as well as additional PCR testing on campus in preparation for Saturday’s contest, resulting in seven rounds of testing in the seven days prior to their departure for Albany last Wednesday.
In a statement to und.com, Head Coach Jeff Jackson said, “It’s an unfortunate situation and I feel for our guys, especially our seniors. The team was excited about returning to the NCAA tournament and ready to continue competing after earning the opportunity. But with the multiple positives and subsequent contact tracing, it became clear that for the safety of our team and the others in the tournament we could not proceed.”
Notre Dame was selected for their fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championship, which is the second-longest active streak in the nation.
Notre Dame closes their season 14-13-2 as one of four Big Ten teams to make the NCAA Tournament. The other three were No. 2 seed Michigan and No. 1 seeds Minnesota and Wisconsin.