The University of Michigan ice hockey team is out of the NCAA tournament due to positive COVID-19 test results, the school announced in a press release Friday.
The No. 8-ranked team held a second seed in the tournament and was scheduled to compete against No. 3-seeded Minnesota Duluth, the two-time defending national champion, in a Midwest Regional semifinal Friday afternoon.
The decision to remove U-M from the tournament was made by the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Committee, in consultation with the NCAA Medical Advisory Group, due to positive coronavirus test results within the university’s Tier I testing group.
"I'm devastated for these players. These student-athletes have done a wonderful job all year of making sacrifices to get to this point of the year," said Graham Family Head Men's Ice Hockey Coach Mel Pearson. “It's unfortunate. I don't completely understand the final decision but I have to respect it.
"They've given so much and to get this opportunity taken away from them, it's hard to swallow. I know it's just a game, but it's extremely important to these young men. It's two years in a row now we've been denied an opportunity to compete in the national championship. It hasn't quite sunk in yet.
U-M hockey student-athletes and staff had remained in daily testing protocol since the conclusion of the Big Ten Tournament and was preparing for Friday's contest when notified by the NCAA.
This season's NCAA Tournament bid was the 38th overall in U-M history, which is tied for the most with Minnesota. The Wolverines have a 53-30 all-time NCAA Tournament record, including a Division I-record nine national championships.
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