Notre Dame Hockey Withdraws From NCAA Tournament
Notre Dame’s 2020-21 hockey team tied for the most regular season games played this year with 28 (prior to the Big Ten Tournament).
However, head coach Jeff Jackson’s Fighting Irish had to withdraw from the 16-team NCAA Tournament slated to begin this weekend because of positive COVID-19 test results within its Tier I testing group.
In an odd twist of fate, Notre Dame eked into the tournament this Sunday when St. Lawrence had to withdraw because of its own coronavirus issues. St. Lawrence played only 17 games this year and was 6-8-3 — but upset Quinnipiac to win the ECAC Tournament to receive what would have been the automatic bid before having to withdraw.
Notre Dame's decision was made in accordance with policies by the school, the NCAA Medical Advisory Group, and the Albany County Public Health Department, among others. As the No. 4 seed in the Albany Regional, Notre Dame had been matched against No. 1 seed Boston College this Saturday at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York.
“It’s an unfortunate situation and I feel for our guys, especially our seniors,” Jackson said. “The team was excited about returning to the NCAA tournament and ready to continue competing after earning the opportunity. But with the multiple positives and subsequent contact tracing it became clear that for the safety of our team and the others in the tournament we could not proceed.”
Per the university, the team went through seven rounds of testing in the seven days leading up to its departure for Albany on Wednesday, March 24.
It marked Notre Dame’s fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championship field, which is the second longest active streak in the country.
Notre Dame finished 14-13-2 and was one of four Big Ten teams to make the field, joining No. 1 seeds Minnesota and Wisconsin, plus No. 2 seed Michigan.
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