College men's hockey: Positive COVID-19 test result ousts St. Lawrence from NCAA Tournament

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Cap Carey, Watertown Daily Times, N.Y.
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Mar. 21—CANTON — There will be no NCAA Tournament appearance this weekend for the St. Lawrence University men's hockey team due to a positive COVID-19 test result for head coach Brent Brekke on Sunday afternoon.

SLU will finish with a 6-8-3 overall record that was highlighted by a 3-2 overtime win over Quinnipiac on Saturday afternoon in the ECAC Hockey championship game.

The Saints were supposed to find out Sunday night where they would be traveling for the NCAA Tournament and who they might be playing. Some were hoping they'd be sent to Albany and possibly face Massachusetts and former coach and Canton native Greg Carvel.

"I'm extremely sorry that this group has lost the opportunity to compete in the NCAA Tournament," Brekke said. "It was my own test that came back positive today. The roller coaster of emotions in the last 24 hours for everyone is unimaginable. Last night we are holding the trophy above our heads and today we are shaking our heads in disbelief that the season is over. This hurts. But the one thing that can't be taken away from the team — they are champions."

Brekke's result falls in the Tier 1 personnel category and in accordance with New York State and NCAA quarantine guidelines in which the team cannot accept the ECAC Hockey automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

It would have been SLU's first appearance since 2007 and Saturday's championship was the school's first since 2001 and the seventh overall in program history. Quinnipiac, which was a safe bet to get an at-large bid, will now get the ECAC Hockey automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

SLU finished most of the season despite having issues with COVID-19 beyond Sunday's occurrence. The Saints had to cancel their last four regular-season games against Clarkson due to a COVID-19 situation and played just four overall games in the last month.

SLU also had scheduled games disrupted by COVID-19 situations, either their own or opposing teams, a few other times during the season.