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Ice Breaker Tournament, Known As Traditional Mark of Start of Men’s Ice Hockey Season, Postponed due to COVID-19

CHI Ice Breaker Tournament, Semifinals Photo By John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The 2020 Ice Breaker Tournament, traditionally known across college hockey as the traditional opening of the men’s ice hockey season, has been cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19, hosts Minnesota-Duluth announced Tuesday.

“Ultimately, the health and well-being of our student-athletes as well as the local community led us to this decision,” UMD athletic director Josh Berlo said. “We hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Ice Breaker Tournament at some later date.”

The tournament, slated this year to be played at UMD’s Amsoil Arena, was scheduled to host Minnesota, Minnesota State and Hockey East member Providence College. Boston College last played in the Ice Breaker Tournament in 2016.

The move isn’t surprising. While the Big 10’s announcement of the conference-only schedule doesn’t apply to winter sports (yet), the tournament fell right in the middle of the fall sports season, which almost certainly created some uncertainty at Minnesota. Once one of the four teams had uncertainty with their schedule, it was only a matter of time.