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Post #8

Another COVID Casualty, RPI Cancels 20-21 Season

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) becomes the 9th women’s and men’s hockey program to cancel it’s 20-21 season due to COVID concerns. RPI, a member of the ECAC, made the announcement Monday afternoon. You can read the official announcement HERE.

This leaves the ECAC with five remaining schools planning, at least for now, to play—Clarkson, Colgate, Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence, and Union. The ECAC lost six schools when the Ivy League announced it would cancel all winter sports last week.

One has to wonder if more schools will follow the six Ivy programs, RIT, RPI, and Post University with cancelling their seasons. If you include St. Cloud and Vermont who have recently postponed upcoming games between Bemidji St., UCONN, BC, and BU respectively, that’s 15 programs affected already. 41% of DI teams impacted.

We’ll keep you updated on more COVID related developments.

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Post #6

IN THIS POST…

  • NCAA/COVID Update
  • President-Elect Biden Taps 3 With Yale Ties

NCAA/COVID Update

It looks like NCAA DI and DIII teams are going to give it ‘the ‘old college try’ and start playing games. Some already have. DI women’s and men’s conferences have been announcing schedules over the last few weeks, and the puck finally dropped Friday night in South Bend on the men’s side as Wisconsin traveled and took on Notre Dame. I have to imagine a charter flight was involved for Wisco.

As it stands now (Sunday, Nov. 15) there are 8 DI women’s teams and 2 DI men’s programs who will not be playing hockey this year. Here is what we know.

Women

  • Ivy League–Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale
  • College Hockey America (CHA)–Rochester Institute of Technology
  • New England Women’s Hockey Alliance (NEWHA)–Post University

The WCHA and Hockey East have announced their intended schedules. Hockey East came out with a full season schedule while the WCHA announced a schedule through December. You can click the links below to find them. The ECAC and CHA have yet to announce anything official. The NEWHA hasn’t appeared to announce anything official but their official website does list games for Sacred Heart.

WCHA-Announcement Schedule | Hockey East-Announcement Schedule | NEWHA

Men

  • Ivy League–Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale
  • Atlantic Hockey Conference (AHC)–Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA)–Alaska Anchorage

The Ivy League announced Thursday evening it would cancel all winter sports. I doubt there were many who thought the Ivy League would have decided anything different. It was only a matter of time before they pulled the trigger. On both the women’s and men’s side the ECAC now drops to 6 teams from 12. Additionally on the women’s side, Post University made its announcement to cancel Winter and Spring sports back in October sighting safety concerns due to the pandemic. With Posts’ women’s team out, the NEWHA drops to 5 teams from 6. Post also decided to move to all-virtual classes and a hope to return to competition in 2021. You can read Posts’ official announcement HERE. The leadership at RIT made a similar announcement just a week ago on Nov. 9. to cancel all winter sports for the 2020-2021 season. You can read that HERE. The CHA now drops from 6 teams to 5. On the men’s side, Atlantic Hockey where the RIT men play will drop to 10 from 11. The University at Alaska-Anchorage in the WCHA cancelled its indoor winter sports season, details can be found HERE. And in doing so, likely cancelled the men’s hockey program altogether. 20-21 was supposed to be the men’s hockey teams’ last season. UAA announced an athletic restructuring in August that would cancel four sport programs, men’s hockey being one of them.

As we’ve seen with the college football season, I think college hockey can expect some of the same with game cancellations/postponements, etc. There are already a few games on the men’s side involving Army that were/will be postponed. Unlike football, hockey is an indoor sport and thus the chance for infection rises. But don’t expect any fans at any games this year, I haven’t heard of a conference allowing them. Interestingly, men’s teams in the NCHC will try an NHL-like bubble with all 8 teams heading to the University of Nebraska-Omaha to play games until late December. You can read more about that HERE.

The first games on the DI women’s side will happen Friday Nov. 20 as UNH hosts Boston College at 4:30PM. If you need your college hockey viewing fix, you can catch the game live on NESN – the New England Sports Network. And speaking of TV, with the NHL not having games until who knows when, I wonder if sports networks will add more women’s hockey to it’s scheduling line-up to fill the hockey void. Let’s hope so.

President-Elect Biden Taps 3 With Yale Ties

Yale University has long been a name synonymous with cutting-edge research in the field of public health. As one the foremost medical research universities in the world, The Yale School of Medicine stepped up to help fight the the COVID–19 pandemic in ways that are helping save lives. And now three people with close ties to Yale Medicine have been named to President-Elect Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board, and given a chance to help quell surges in infections, ensure approval of safe vaccines, and protect at-risk populations.

Joining the President-Elect’s advisory board: Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, associate professor of internal medicine, public health, and management — will co-chair the COVID-19 Transition Advisory Board with Dr. Vivek Murthy ’03 M.B.A. ’03 M.D., a former U.S. surgeon general, and Dr. David Kessler, a former dean of Yale School of Medicine and past commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). You can read Yale’s announcement HERE.

This is just one example of many that illustrate the type of path one can have in attending Yale. And it’s not just in Medicine, it’s in business, law, science, and the many the other excellent disciplines and experiences Yale offers.

Until next time… stay safe and be well.

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Post #4

IN THIS POST…

  • The Passing of Wayne Dean and Rick Schwartz
  • Ivy League Officially Cancels Winter Sports

The Passing of Wayne Dean and Rick Schwartz

The Yale women’s hockey program was rocked with the sudden passing of two of the programs’ biggest supporters this week. Word came Monday that long-time former Deputy Athletic Director Wayne Dean, who oversaw the women’s and men’s hockey programs, passed away last weekend from a heart attack. He had just retired from Yale in July. He was affectionately known as ‘Deaner’ and synonymous with the Yale hockey programs for over 30 years. Although our staff only had a short time with Wayne as our administrator, his passion for Yale hockey and willingness to help our players in any way possible will be sorely missed. You can read Yale’s official statement HERE.

The news on Tuesday didn’t get any better as we learned that Rick Schwartz, father of former Yale women’s hockey alum Mandi Schwartz, also passed away of a heart attack earlier this week while at home. Rick loved the game and seeing his kids thrive in the sport. Mandi played parts of three seasons for the Bulldogs from 2008-2011 and eventually passed away due to acute myeloid leukemia in April of 2011. After Mandi’s death, Rick and his wife Carol became heavily involved with cancer research and the Mandi Schwartz Foundation helping find bone marrow matches through drives held on campus each Spring at Yale and in Canada. I last had the chance to see Rick in December at the Mandi Schwartz Memorial Tournament at Notre Dame in Wilcox, SK where Mandi attended. He was so proud to show me old photos of Mandi up on the walls of the rink. Also proud to show off his newly received Stanley Cup ring from the St. Louis Blues. His youngest son Jaden plays for the Blues. You can read more about Rick and the Schwartz family HERE.

Our sympathies go out to the Dean and Schwartz family’s during this difficult time.

Ivy League Officially Cancels Winter Sports…

Thursday evening the Ivy League Council of Presidents announced:

  • The cancelation of the winter sports season
  • Fall sports will not compete in the ’21 Spring semester
  • Spring sport competition will be postponed until at least the end of February 2021

Yale Athletic Director Vicky Chun and Yale University President Peter Salovey broke the news to all winter athletes and coaches in a Zoom call. Sighting its commitment to the health and safety for all student-athletes as well as the greater campus and local community, the Ivy League Council of Presidents needed to take this action.

Teams will still be able to practice and train in accordance with each institutions health and safety protocols as well as local authority guidelines. This decision does not change much for our program as most of our players were not enrolled this season. No timetable has been given for a decision on a return for Fall or Winter sports for the 21-22 season.

You can read the Ivy League’s official announcement HERE.

Until next time….