The Michigan hockey team’s season has come to an abrupt end.
On Friday, the Wolverines (15-10-1) announced that they have been removed from the NCAA men’s hockey tournament due to COVID-19 protocols after returning positive test results.
Michigan was the No. 8-ranked team in the country and a No. 2 seed in the tournament.
“I’m devastated for these players. These student-athletes have done a wonderful job all year of making sacrifices to get to this point of the year,” said head coach Mel Pearson in a statement. “It’s unfortunate. I don’t completely understand the final decision but I have to respect it.”
The Wolverines were scheduled to take on No. 9-ranked and No. 3-seeded Minnesota Duluth, the two-time defending national champion, before being pulled from the field.
“They’ve given so much and to get this opportunity taken away from them, it’s hard to swallow,” Pearson added. “I know it’s just a game, but it’s extremely important to these young men. It’s two years in a row now we’ve been denied an opportunity to compete in the national championship. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet.
“I want to wish all the teams still playing good health, good luck and stay safe. Lastly, I want to make sure to thank the Michigan Hockey supporters. I’ve been blown away by the number of people who care deeply about and support this program. It truly means a lot to me and to our players. We’ll be back. Michigan Hockey will be back. Stronger and ready to go next year.”
Minnesota Duluth automatically advances to the next round of the tournament.