Saturday, December 13, 2014

Minnesota State Cancels Hockey Game Due to Flu Outbreak

Minnesota State has cancelled its Saturday men's hockey home game against Princeton after an outbreak of the flu on the MSU team.

Here is the statement from the university:
Kevin Buisman, Minnesota State Director of Athletics, has announced that the men’s hockey game for Minnesota State vs. Princeton, scheduled for Saturday evening in Mankato, has been cancelled.

“Several members of our men’s hockey team have come down with the flu and we do not have enough healthy student-athletes to field a team tonight,” said Buisman. “After consulting with several stakeholders, including the NCAA, Verizon Wireless Center and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, and discussing our options, it was decided to cancel the game.  There were several complicating factors in the decision which involved facility scheduling, individual and team travel and the fact that there is no guarantee that we would have enough bodies to play tomorrow.  We know that our fan base and those that follow us would have wanted to see the third-rated Mavericks play tonight and hope everyone can understand this difficult situation and the issues we faced in coming to this decision.”

Buisman said that the game would be declared a “no contest” and that plans for ticket reimbursement will be announced at a later date.
Obviously, this is the right thing to do. Player safety is first and foremost, and if MSU didn't have enough healthy players to field something that at least resembled a full lineup, there is no reason to move forward with this game.

I couldn't find a provision in the NCAA rule book to cover this, but I do not have access to WCHA by-laws and can't tell you if it's covered there. Either way, I'm glad it's a no-contest, as opposed to a forfeit that would give Princeton a 1-0 win. That doesn't benefit anyone and serves to penalize Minnesota State for a matter completely out of its control.

There isn't much information on this situation beyond the statement, but I'd encourage you to follow the wonderful Mankato Free Press Mavericks beat guy, Shane Frederick, on Twitter @puckato. I presume he'll have more on this story as he gathers more information.

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