NU hockey on hold after SLU's outbreak

The Niagara University hockey team lines up before a game last season at Dwyer Arena.

Niagara Purple Eagles hockey came within a day of starting their season Thursday, when a COVID-19 outbreak at St. Lawrence University pulled the plug on any hopes of playing this weekend.

The Purple Eagles were scheduled to open their 2020-21 campaign at St. Lawrence Friday afternoon, with a second game against the Saints scheduled for Sunday at Dwyer Arena. Both games have been canceled by St. Lawrence, after the risk level was raised from green (low risk) to yellow (moderate risk). There are currently nine cases of COVID-19 at St. Lawrence University.

“We are disappointed that we won't have the opportunity to open our season this weekend, but we know how important it is to keep our campus community safe and healthy during this time," said St. Lawrence head coach Brent Brekke. "We hope that our combined efforts to stop the spread will get us back to where we have been for most of the fall semester so we can get back on the ice and get our season underway."

Niagara hasn’t played a game since last March, just as the coronavirus pandemic was hitting the United States. The Purple Eagles will now open the season next weekend at RIT on Nov. 27, with a return game at Dwyer Arena on Nov. 28. RIT originally canceled the men’s hockey season, only to reconsider earlier in the week.

The Niagara Gazette will have a full preview of the Purple Eagles next week.

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