The University of Maine women’s ice hockey team was shorthanded on Friday when it lost to the University of Connecticut 3-0 in Connecticut.
The Black Bears had only 13 skaters and two goalies available, which prompted Hockey East administrators to reduce it to one game instead of the original two-game series.
Hockey East has mandated that teams must have at least 15 skaters and two goalies to play games, although it considers requests from teams that are willing to compete with fewer players.
NCAA rules allow a maximum of 19 skaters plus goalies. UConn had 18 skaters and three goalies for the game.
UMaine head coach Richard Reichenbach said he discussed the situation with his players and they had no issues with being shorthanded.
“They just want to play,” he said.
Reichenbach explained that UMaine had six players under a 10-day quarantine as mandated by COVID-19 protocols after one student-athlete tested positive for the coronavirus.
The coach hopes to regain the services of the quarantined players in time for Tuesday’s practice to prepare for this weekend’s scheduled series at Merrimack.
UMaine also has four injured players who have not been available.
The Black Bears had 14 skaters for an earlier game at Northeastern, the nation’s third-ranked team, which the Huskies won 3-2 in overtime.
“As long as your [available] players are healthy, it’s not that big of a deal,” Reichenbach said. “Your top defense tandem is going to play every other shift anyway and we still have eight or nine forwards.”
The UMaine men’s hockey team returned to practice last week after being paused since Jan. 24 due to coronavirus issues. The Black Bears on Tuesday learn who this weekend’s opponent will be when the league office announces the schedule.
UMaine’s basketball teams are moving forward with a few schedule adjustments.
A game has been added to the women’s schedule, a Feb. 20 home game against New Hampshire. They are set to visit Stony Brook on Long Island for games Saturday and Sunday with first place in America East on the line.
The UNH game was added to prevent UMaine from having an extensive layoff between the regular-season finale and the playoffs, which are slated to begin the first week of March.
The UMaine men’s basketball team, which hasn’t played since Jan. 17 at Vermont, has had this weekend’s home series against Bingamton pushed back a week to Feb. 20-21.