The University of Vermont announced on Sunday evening that they are delaying the start of men’s and women’s hockey with the season pushed back to December 18th. This comes just days after Vermont saw one of their biggest case rises since the pandemic began. Both the men’s and women’s programs were expected to open the year on Saturday, as the men would play host to the Huskies while the women would spend the weekend in Connecticut.
Jeff Schulman, Director of Athletics, released the following statement on Sunday evening. “After discussions with President Garimella and the Vermont Department of Health, it became clear that delaying the start of our seasons was the most responsible course of action. Our state is obviously seeing a significant increase in COVID-19 cases and it’s important that our programs are operating in a manner that is consistent with guidance from state officials. I certainly feel for our student-athletes, coaches and staff who have been following strict protocols in preparing for a return to competition. Moving forward, we will make every effort to play out our competitive schedules while always prioritizing the health and wellbeing of our student-athletes, as well as that of our campus and community.”
As it currently stands, the women will open the season at home with a weekend series against the University of New Hampshire. That begins on December 19th. The men’s program starts December 26th as they play host to Northeastern University. On the women’s end, they’ll now play six games in the Hockey East conference.
Additionally, they’ll play four against Northeastern, followed by two against Merrimack, Boston University and Providence College. The men will play 10 games in the Hockey East conference, which will then be followed by eight flex games. They will play the University of Massachusetts, the New Hampshire Wildcats, UMass Lowell and Merrimack twice.