Report: Harvard hockey forced to forfeit playoff series over coronavirus concerns

Scott McLaughlin
March 11, 2020 - 3:33 pm
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On Tuesday, Harvard's basketball teams were dealt a season-ending blow when the Ivy League canceled its postseason tournaments due to coronavirus concerns. On Wednesday, the men's hockey team was hit with similar news, as the school's administration has barred it from playing in its ECAC quarterfinal series against Rensselaer, according to College Hockey News.

As a result, the Crimson will forfeit the series, which RPI had already announced would be played without fans due to concerns about coronavirus. Harvard, who was the fifth seed in the ECAC and who was coming off an opening-round sweep of St. Lawrence last weekend, is not in a position to get an at-large berth for the NCAA tournament, so its season is now over.

It is currently unclear how the rest of the ECAC tournament will play out. The league could still play the remaining quarterfinal series as scheduled with RPI automatically advancing, or it could potentially reseed with top-seeded Cornell getting a bye to the semifinals.

It's also possible that more schools will force their teams not to play. The Ivy League announced Wednesday that it was canceling all spring sports through the remainder of the academic year, but that it would be up to individual schools to decide how to handle winter sports that have qualified for postseason play. Cornell (which is also planning to play behind closed doors this weekend), Princeton and Yale are other Ivy League schools still in the ECAC tournament, along with non-Ivies RPI, Quinnipiac, Clarkson and Colgate.

Harvard announced this week that the school was moving classes online for the remainder of the semester and told students not to return to campus after spring break.

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