AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Four players of the UMass Minutemen hockey team will be unable to play in Thursday’s NCAA Frozen Four due to COVID-19 protocols.
According to the team, the players did not meet the requirements in place from the COVID-19 contact tracing protocols and will be unable to play. The four players are Carson Gicewicz, Henry Graham, Jerry Harding and Filip Lindberg. Of the four players, that includes their starting goalie, back up goalie and the team’s leading scorer.
Goalie Filip Lindberg has started the last 12 games in net, and is 9-1-4 on the season. Forward Carson Gicewicz is the leading goal-scorer for the Minutemen with 17, including a hat trick in the regional final.
UMass fans aren’t counting them out just yet, saying this is disappointing but a win will make the trip to the national championship that much better.
“I think it will still be competitive they’ve shown that they can do well against everyone this season,” Adam Traister, a student at UMass told 22News.
The teams hockey season has been exciting for the campus community to watch, and given students something to look forward to.
“To have something like the hockey team go so far is really important for the spirit of our school especially through a pandemic and everything so this could be a hard hit,” UMass student, Christopher Hernan said.
Head Coach Greg Carvel released a statement saying, “I feel for these players who have sacrificed so much over the last year and committed themselves to getting our team to this point. They have earned the right to compete for a national championship, and to have this unfortunate situation occur now is hard to comprehend. But nevertheless it’s a result that we have to accept, and we will move forward together and utilize the depth of our roster for Thursday’s game in Pittsburgh.”
The Minutemen will take on two-time defending champion Minnesota-Duluth on Thursday at 9:00 in a rematch of the 2019 NCAA championship game. The winner will advance to Saturday’s national championship game against either St. Cloud State or Minnesota State.
Since those players were ruled out due to contact tracing protocols, there is a chance they could rejoin the team for the national championship game on Saturday if they continue to test negative.
The game in on Thursday night at 9.