For the primary time for the reason that 2013-14 season, UConn males’s hockey will play on-campus. The Huskies are set to host their 13-game dwelling schedule at Freitas Ice Discussion board — which presently serves as the boys’s workforce’s observe facility and hosts the ladies’s video games — after the varsity introduced it will not play any games in Hartford this season because of the pandemic.
Doing so will take a monumental effort, although.
“It’s going to be difficult,” males’s hockey head coach Mike Cavanaugh instructed The UConn Weblog by cellphone. “It’s not likely geared up to deal with Hockey East video games. I imply, we’re going to do it, we’re going to make it work however there’s a purpose why Hockey East mentioned we will’t play video games at Freitas.”
The XL Middle has served as UConn’s dwelling ice because it joined Hockey East. The convention requires its males’s groups to play in a 4,000-seat enviornment and Freitas Ice Discussion board seats simply 2,000. After they joined Hockey East, the Huskies had been supposed to construct an on-campus rink inside 4 years, though construction has yet to begin.
With solely participant and training employees friends allowed as spectators at the beginning of the season, capability received’t be a problem. However that’s the least of the issues with the ability.
Freitas Ice Discussion board opened in 1998 — the primary yr UConn males’s hockey started Division I play and two years earlier than the ladies’s hockey program even started. Although two dwelling varsity locker rooms had been constructed, all the pieces else in regards to the rink is just too small to deal with two Hockey East applications.
“You don’t actually have the area,” he mentioned. “It’s arduous discovering area to heat up. It’s arduous discovering area for our coaching amenities. Our coaching amenities actually aren’t ample for each groups. I assume whenever you go on the highway it’s a must to make a makeshift factor however we don’t even actually have plenty of area for the visiting workforce to try this. It’s very tough with a males’s and girls’s workforce.”
The issues are magnified within the age of COVID and social distancing. The foyer is the one space giant sufficient within the constructing for all the workforce to heat up and even in regular circumstances, gamers are nonetheless crammed right into a small area. The truth that it’s the one approach out and in of the constructing complicates issues as nicely.
UConn thought-about bringing in a short lived, exterior locker room area to alleviate the congestion however in the end determined to make it work with what they’ve at Freitas. It’ll accomplish that “beneath the protocols and social distance pointers,” although, in line with program SID Invoice Peterson.
The varsity will use all accessible area within the constructing, similar to changing a part of the foyer into an athletic coaching space. Contained in the rink itself, employees shall be unfold all through the stands whereas the glass behind the benches and penalty containers might be eliminated to permit help employees to sit down on the bleachers as nicely, which might create more room in these areas.
“[Freitas] wasn’t constructed for Hockey East,” Cavanaugh reiterated. “That’s why we’re getting a brand new rink.”
- UConn was picked to complete seventh within the Hockey East Coaches’ Ballot. The Huskies completed in fifth place final season — their second fifth-place end in years. View the full poll here.
- Talking of polls, UConn obtained 10 votes within the USCHO preseason ballot and three votes within the USA In the present day ballot. The Huskies have by no means been ranked in program historical past.
- If Hockey East finishes the common season with groups having performed an uneven variety of video games, the ultimate standings and playoff seeding shall be decided by “share of factors earned” as a substitute of complete factors, commissioner Steve Metcalf instructed the media throughout a Zoom name on Thursday.