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Other WCHA schools join Northern Michigan University in postponing, canceling games

Northern Michigan University teammates celebrate the first goal of the season by Luke Voltin, partially hidden at right, in a a game against St. Cloud State at the Berry Events Center in Marquette on Nov. 9, 2019. (Photo courtesy Daryl T. Jarvinen)

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Several other WCHA teams have joined Northern Michigan University in calling off some of their early-season hockey games due to coronavirus positive tests within teams.

A count on the WCHA composite schedule at www.wcha.com shows a dozen games have been canceled or postponed, all nonconference games except one that involves NMU.

So far, WCHA teams have played seven games, all nonconference, including Lake Superior State’s win and tie at home against Michigan Tech last weekend. Bowling Green State, Alabama-Huntsville, Minnesota State-Mankato and Bemidji State have each played at least one game in addition to LSSU and MTU.

Ferris State and LSSU were the latest to announce a cancellation. On Wednesday, they canceled their home-and-home nonconference series scheduled for tonight and Sunday due to confirmed positive test results within the Ferris program.

Instead, LSSU will now host downstate Adrian of NCAA Division III at 7 p.m. today and travel to Adrian, near the Ohio border, for a 2 p.m. Sunday game. Adrian is a member of the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association, whose 11 members include Finlandia, St. Norbert, Concordia-Wisconsin and the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

On Monday, Mankato announced it had postponed its nonconference game for that night at Bemidji. The teams had played the series opener, also at Bemidji, on Sunday with the defending league champion Mavericks winning 5-0.

At that time, they also canceled their rematch that was to be played in Mankato tonight and Saturday night.

NMU announced Monday that it was canceling or postponing all its games to start the season through Dec. 5, which included six contests. That included a league game, next Wednesday at LSSU, which will have to be made up.

The other NMU games canceled were Wednesday’s season and home opener against LSSU, tonight’s and Saturday night’s home-and-home series against Michigan Tech, and next Friday’s and Saturday’s home games against Bemidji. These nonconference games aren’t expected to be rescheduled.

NMU’s first games are now set to be at Mankato on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 11-12, and its home opener to be the second game of a home-and-home series against MTU on Saturday, Dec. 19.

A few weeks ago, Alaska-Anchorage announced it was suspending its hockey program and most of its other winter sports for this school year, leaving the WCHA with nine teams instead of 10 for what is expected to be its final season.

The league’s seven teams in Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio are leaving the WCHA and re-forming the CCHA starting next season.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

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