The No. 8-ranked and No. 2-seeded University of Michigan men’s ice hockey team will not be allowed to participate in the 2021 NCAA Championship due to positive COVID-19 test results, the NCAA announced Friday.
Michigan (15-10-1) was set to take on No. 9-ranked and No. 3-seeded Minnesota Duluth, the two-time defending national champion, in a Midwest Regional semifinal Friday afternoon at Scheels Arena in Fargo, N.D.
With Michigan having to bow out, the game now will be ruled a no-contest and Minnesota Duluth will advance to the next round of competition.
Notre Dame’s team was forced out on Thursday for the same reason. They were set to face Boston College in the first round. Now, BC advances to face either St. Cloud State or Boston University in the second round.
This is a disappointing finish for Michigan as there were high hopes for the Wolverines at this year’s tournament. There was belief that they could do some damage in the tournament despite a 4th-place finish in the Big Ten. The conference was very strong this season, with both Wisconsin and Minnesota finishing ranked among the top four men’s college hockey teams in the nation.
Michigan has several players being targeted by NHL scouts -- defenseman Owen Power, center Matthew Beniers, defenseman Luke Hughes (brother of NHL players Quinn and Jack Hughes) and center Kent Johnson.