UTICA, N.Y. – The Utica Faculty males’s and ladies’s ice hockey groups should wait till after the brand new yr to be able to return to competitors.
The UC Athletics Division mentioned that the groups won’t be enjoying any video games till the spring semester, which begins in January.
Beforehand, the United Collegiate Hockey Convention (UCHC), by which the Pioneers hockey packages play, had postponed convention competitors till Jan. 1, making the announcement again in July.
Nonetheless, the convention had left the door open for member packages to schedule non-conference video games previous to that date, and Utica Faculty then mentioned it hoped to return to motion for non-conference video games following Thanksgiving.
With the current rise in instances across the space and throughout the nation, the college felt one of the best plan of action was to attend till the spring semester.
“In one of the best curiosity of the school, all of our student-athletes and maintaining individuals secure, [we’ve decided] we have to wait the remainder of this semester out and start subsequent semester,” mentioned David Fontaine, Utica Faculty Director of Bodily Training and Athletics. “It is confirmed to be an excellent determination.”
The Pioneers males’s crew is coming off of a 25-2-2 season, the place they captured the UCHC title, and the highest seed within the NCAA Match, set to host a nationwide quarterfinals recreation earlier than the coronavirus pandemic pressured the event to be cancelled.
In addition they continued to prime the nation in attendance for NCAA Division III hockey packages for the 14th straight yr, attracting 3,394 followers per recreation.
The ladies’s crew went 9-16-1, however had a younger crew that gained worthwhile expertise and have increased expectations for this upcoming season.
Underneath the circumstances, there was lots of pleasure surrounding UC hockey on the Adirondack Financial institution Heart this winter.
The college has burdened it nonetheless plans to compete sooner or later, however that now is just not the suitable time.
“We wish to play there isn’t any doubt about that,” mentioned Fontaine. “Coaches wish to get on the market and coach, scholar athletes wish to get on the market enjoying. I need to have the ability to assist all of that and go to our video games and see our scholar athletes and watch them rejoice, however now we have to take that security into consideration with each determination that we make.”
On Tuesday, the Empire 8, which incorporates the opposite Utica Faculty winter sports activities packages, mentioned that it might start the boys’s and ladies’s basketball season on Mar. 1.
With that date set, it is a step in the correct path for winter sports activities which have remained suspended in limbo for fairly a while.
This does not imply that hockey will wait till then to get going, however Utica Faculty hopes the tentative dates present that the faculties are critical about offering their student-athletes with a aggressive expertise, albeit when it’s secure to take action.
“It was the correct determination to attend and I do know that folks get annoyed, that occurs,” mentioned Fontaine. “However being affected person and staying the course has confirmed to be the correct solution to go.”