MINNEAPOLIS — A highly anticipated women's college hockey series between the top-ranked Wisconsin Badgers and 3rd-ranked Minnesota Gophers was put on ice just hours before Friday's puck drop, after several positive COVID tests in the UW program.
The games originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Ridder Arena will be rescheduled for later in the season. The Badgers have not commented yet on how many players/staffers have tested positive for the virus.
Minnesota now won't play until after the holidays, as next weekend's two-game series with Ohio State had already been postponed. The Buckeyes pulled out of the series, saying in a statement that the team "will be unable to meet the minimum number of players required to compete outlined in the WCHA's Return to competition protocols."
Ohio State did not elaborate on whether the cancelation is COVID-related, or the reasons for the roster shortfall.
So far, six of the seven WCHA teams have had games postponed in the first three weeks of the season. This weekend's series between Bemidji State and Minnesota State was postponed Monday because Bemidji State hasn't completed the league's protocols.
League play for the second half of the 2020-21 WCHA season will resume as early as Jan. 1. The post-holiday league schedule, along with the format for the 2021 WCHA Final Faceoff, will be announced at a later date.