An announcement was made today that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team, due to a number of COVID-19 positive tests, will no longer compete in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. The decision was made in accordance with the Albany County Public Health Department and the NCAA Medical Advisory Group. The positive cases come from Notre Dame’s Tier I testing group, which is defined by the NCAA as “student-athletes, coaches, athletic trainers and physical therapists, medical staff, equipment staff, and officials”.
Notre Dame had earned the #4 seed in the Albany Regional and was set to take on the #1 seed Boston College Eagles on Saturday March 27. That game will now be ruled a no contest and Boston College will move on to the Regional Final. Notre Dame had stayed clear of COVID problems all season and were tied for the NCAA lead with 28 games played this regular season.
Irish head coach Jeff Jackson had this to say according to the team’s press release:
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.
It is an unfortunate way for the Irish season to end, especially since they had made it through the regular season unscathed, but it was an exciting season at times and Notre Dame was led by some talented young players. This team will be back on the biggest stage soon and will continue looking for the elusive first National Title.