Gophers women’s hockey postpones final two series

The end of the first half of the Gophers’ season has shifted with their opponents after Wisconsin and Ohio State saw a rise in COVID-19 cases.

The+University+of+Minnesota+women%E2%80%99s+hockey+team+plays+against+Ohio+State+at+Ridder+Arena+on+Saturday%2C+Nov.+21.+The+Gophers+ended+the+night+with+a+4-0+win.

Emily Urfer

The University of Minnesota women’s hockey team plays against Ohio State at Ridder Arena on Saturday, Nov. 21. The Gophers ended the night with a 4-0 win.

Matthew Kennedy, Sports Reporter

The No. 3 Minnesota Gophers women’s hockey team has postponed its final two series in the first portion of the season versus No. 1 Wisconsin and away against No. 4 Ohio State.

These postponements are due to both Wisconsin and Ohio state seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, something that has hampered Midwestern schools and the normalcy of their athletic program schedules.

Fortunately for the Gophers, no one on Minnesota’s roster has tested positive. That allowed the team to add a series against Minnesota State Mankato on Dec. 10-11. That series will round out the first portion of Minnesota’s schedule.

“Certainly disappointed that we weren’t able to play this weekend,” Gophers’ head coach Brad Frost said. “Our program treats everyday as a blessing and as a gift and we are excited to get the opportunity to play Minnesota State next week since our series with the Buckeyes was also canceled.

“When our series with Ohio State was postponed, our senior associate AD Tom McGinnis did a great job in trying to find solutions for us. Minnesota State was off next weekend and Tom worked with their AD in Mankato to get this series on the books.”

Frost is letting his players go home after final exams at the end of this month but stressed the importance of social distancing and instructed his team to avoid “big family gatherings and large crowds.” With the second half of the WCHA season set to resume as early as Jan. 1, the Gophers will be back on the ice shortly after the holiday season.

“Usually we have a month off during winter break but this season it may be only two weeks depending on what opportunities we receive to get ice time versus other teams,” he said.