January 30, 2022 | SPORTS | By Michael Braithwaite | Photo by Anil Jergens
The Colorado College men’s hockey team could not field an NCHC minimum of 15 active players for their series against No. 3 ranked Western Michigan last weekend, leading to the series being postponed. CC Athletic Director Lesley Irvine told the Catalyst on Tuesday that the team couldn’t play “based on the impact of COVID-19 protocol for us.”
In a press release issued on Jan. 12, the college cited “COVID-19 protocols within the Colorado College hockey program” as the main reason for the postponement. The team’s series with Western Michigan will now take place on Feb. 4 and Feb. 5 at Ed Robson Arena.
When at full health, CC’s roster consists of 28 active players. However, between injuries and the impacts of COVID-19 protocols, the team didn’t have 15 players available.
This postponement came following news that many players on CC’s hockey team have been reluctant to get their COVID-19 booster shots, citing concerns about the link between vaccinations and heart problems in young men, according to a story the Colorado Springs Gazette published on Jan. 3.
“There’s lots of students [at CC] who are still kind of working through getting their boosters situated,” Irvine said. “And so we just work closely with our [COVID-19] policy decision-making team to see, frankly okay, who is positive and then, who would we determine to be close contacts?”
According to CC’s new COVID-19 protocols, only those who have not been fully vaccinated – meaning that they are either not vaccinated against COVID-19 or have not yet received their booster and are eligible to do so – would have to isolate or quarantine if they were deemed a close contact with another individual who tested positive.
Irvine reiterated that the hockey team is subject to the same protocols as all other students, including biweekly testing, a KN95 indoor mask mandate, and a COVID-19 booster shot mandate.
“We remain committed to educating our students and our student-athletes about what the [COVID-19] policies are, and we want to make sure we can help get their questions answered,” Irvine said.
CC was one of three different NCHC schools to have their weekend series postponed on Jan. 12 due to pandemic protocols within their hockey program, joining North Dakota and St. Cloud State.
Only a week removed from the incident, the Tigers are set to play their annual Gold Pan series versus the No. 3 ranked University of Denver this weekend, with Friday night’s game being broadcasted nationally on CBS Sports Network.