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BC hockey’s holiday tournament at Dartmouth to be played without spectators

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Yale v Boston College Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

Heads up for anyone planning on heading to Dartmouth for BC men’s hockey’s trip to the Ledyard Bank Classic on December 30-31: don’t, as Dartmouth is prohibiting spectators (other than limited guests of players and staff) at home sporting events until January 18. The news is not surprising after Dartmouth also announced a series of measures restricting students’ activities in the first weeks of the new semester.

Dartmouth is not the only college hockey program to close their games off to spectators in response to COVID concerns (Yale tweeted last week that they’d be doing the same, while RPI shifted their home game against Vermont to an away game due to restrictions on their campus) but generally, most have not taken such steps.

A check in with a few sources suggests BC is anticipating no limitations on spectators to upcoming games, including home men’s hoops games on December 29 against FSU and January 1 against UNC. This is also generally true citywide; there’s no indication that TD Garden, for instance, will face any capacity limits in the coming months, with the first Beanpot in two years looming not far down the road. Of course, as always, these plans and expectations are subject to change.

Obviously, it’s not really the end of the world either way whether spectators are allowed or not for a few weeks at Dartmouth, and the most important thing for the players and coaches is that the games are able to take place with limited disruption - though this timing is a bit of a bummer for those looking to take advantage of BC’s rare participation in Dartmouth’s traditional holiday classic.

That said, it’s been interesting to see the differing ways different schools have handled the COVID news; while Dartmouth and Harvard have taken March 2020-esque actions, Brown’s world-renowned public health dean laid out why they are confident Brown can continue relatively normal operations thanks to their vaccination and mask protocols.

BC’s first game at the Ledyard Bank Classic will be on December 30 at 4 PM against Mercyhurst. The game will be streamed on ESPN+. They will then face off against either UNH or Dartmouth on December 31 depending on who wins each round one game.

The Eagles’ next game in front of fans is slated to be Saturday, January 8 at 4 PM at home against UConn.