The Colorado College Tigers are hunkered down in a hotel after a player’s positive COVID-19 test forced the team into a two-week suspension of activity and pushed back a planned departure for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s Omaha “pod.”
There are no practices for coaches to run. So they’ve become something like Zoom motivators, checking in from home and keeping spirits up.
“They’ve been outstanding since we got here,” coach Mike Haviland said of the players. “They know what’s at stake and they want to play.”
Haviland said there have been no new cases.
According to a team release, NCAA-required weekly COVID-19 preseason surveillance turned up the positive result. The two-week quarantine began Tuesday.
When all the precautions and limitations weren’t enough to keep the virus out of the locker room, players were disheartened. Haviland said the day they found out was a tough one, but on Friday, Day 4 of 14, “spirits were better.”
“We’re disappointed that it happened and we’re moving forward,” the seventh-year coach said. “Keeping the players safe and healthy to try and give us the best opportunity to get to Omaha and play some games.”
The hotel was prearranged and dedicated for quarantine by Colorado College, Haviland said. Players have their own rooms. The coaching staff isn’t on-site, quarantining at home instead.
The team was supposed to arrive in Omaha this weekend for the pod opener Dec. 1. As the 14 days ends Dec. 1, alternate scenarios have been discussed.
Getting to the pod is the most important part. The on-ice product after two weeks away from the rink – not much can be done about that now.
“I’m concerned, obviously, but we’ve got to get through this,” Haviland said. “When the 14 days are over, we have a plan.
“Hopefully we’ll get back on the ice and get ready to go to Omaha.”
The University of Nebraska Omaha’s Baxter Arena will host the pod. Teams were scheduled to play 10 games during the first three weeks of December.
“I think it still has a great chance. I really do,” Haviland said.
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