The University of Michigan Wolverines men’s hockey team has withdrawn from the NCAA Division I tournament due to COVID protocol. Minnesota-Duluth will advance to the next round in the Fargo Regional. College Hockey News first reported the news on Friday.
BREAKING: Michigan positive COVID case – withdraws from tournament. Minnesota-Duluth advances.
— College Hockey News (@chnews) March 26, 2021
Michigan Wolverines Withdraws
The news of Michigan’s withdrawal comes just one day after COVID protocol took Notre Dame out of the tournament. Prior to receiving positive tests, the No. 8-ranked, No. 2-seeded Wolverines were set to play No. 9-ranked, No. 3-seeded Minnesota-Duluth in the first round of the Fargo Regional.
What It Means
The COVID news is heartbreaking for Michigan. Going into the tournament, they had a 15-10-1 record and an extremely talented roster. The team featured NHL prospects Cam York (Philadelphia Flyers), Thomas Bordeleau (San Jose Sharks), and Brendan Brisson (Vegas Golden Knights). They also had several projected draftees like Owen Power, Kent Johnson, and Matthew Beniers. Overall, Michigan’s withdrawal is a disappointing turn of events for a strong team that had the potential to make a deep run in the tournament.
Since the 2020 NCAA tournament was cancelled due to COVID, Minnesota-Duluth is currently the defending champion. Michigan’s withdrawal puts the Bulldogs one step closer to maintaining their title. Minnesota-Duluth will face either No. 1-ranked North Dakota or No. 4-seeded American International.
For the tournament as a whole, Michigan’s COVID withdrawal is ominous. Coming directly on the heels of Notre Dame’s positive tests, the news does not bode well for the rest of the teams. It remains to be seen how the remainder of the tournament will be affected by COVID, but at this point, it seems that all the NCAA can do is hope that no other teams contract the virus.