The University of Maine women’s hockey team has been cleared to play this weekend while the UMaine men’s team, as expected, has had to move its home series with Providence College to Providence, Rhode Island.
The women’s team, which was in quarantine last week after a presumptive positive COVID-19 test, was going to play a two-game series on Friday and Saturday at the University of Vermont.
Those games have been cancelled due to a coronavirus issue at Vermont, according to Brian Smith, the associate commissioner of Hockey East.
Smith said the league is in the process of lining up a game or two for UMaine at Hockey East member Northeastern this weekend, since the Huskies were not scheduled to play.
Neither UMaine hockey team has played at home this season because of an executive order issued by Gov. Janet Mills that limits indoor gatherings to 50 people.
Maine is the only New England state that hasn’t hosted a college hockey game this season.
The 1-4-1 Black Bear men play 4-4-2 Providence at 3:30 p.m. Friday and at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
The women’s team was originally supposed to go to Providence this weekend for a two-game set. However, Smith explained that Boston College has the only facility in the league that can safely host more than two teams for a series.
Thus, the two UMaine teams couldn’t be at Providence simultaneously.
Smith said schools not only need adequate locker room space but the ability to completely sanitize the facility before and after games. They also must be willing to host.
The UMaine women (4-4) had last weekend’s series at Holy Cross shelved by the presumptive positive COVID-19 test.
Players, coaches and support staff are required by Hockey East to undergo rapid antigen tests seven days a week. The more conclusive and reliable PCR test also is required in the event of presumptive positive rapid antigen test.
Smith said Hockey East was informed by UMaine that it has enough available players, who met COVID-19 guidelines, to play this weekend.