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Reports: Notre Dame hockey potentially having COVID issues; could force forfeit to Boston College

NCAA Hockey: Big Ten Hockey Tournament-Notre Dame vs Penn State South Bend Tribune-USA TODAY NETWORK

Jeff Cox of New England Hockey Journal and John Buccigross of ESPN are among those reporting via Twitter that the Notre Dame men’s hockey team may be experiencing COVID-related issues, including possible positive COVID tests, at the NCAA men’s hockey regional in Albany.

Notre Dame is slated to face Boston College on Saturday at 1 PM in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Details from these guys have been light so far. There are other, more speculatory tweets (from questionable sources, so we won’t share them yet) suggesting that Notre Dame has had positive tests. If that happens, the next step would be another round of testing to see if they were false positives. If they come back positive again, Notre Dame would be forced to withdraw, and Boston College would automatically advance to the regional final to face the winner of St. Cloud State vs. BU.

Boston College and the other regional participants arrived in Albany yesterday, and the process laid out was that teams would be tested, then isolate for ~24 hours, then get tested again before hitting the ice for practice.

The procedure laid out by the NCAA selection committee was that if a team had to withdraw due to COVID within 24 hours of the bracket being released, they could be replaced — but if a team had to withdraw after that, they were out, and the team scheduled to face them would advance automatically. There will be no reseeding due to any COVID-related withdrawals.

Let’s hope that these were false positives and that the Notre Dame players are healthy and able to play. In addition to wishing for good health for all participants, though we all want BC to advance, we are sure the Eagles players are eager to do so on the ice and not on a technicality.

We will share updates as they become available.