Union cancels men’s and women’s hockey for 2020-21 season due to pandemic

No games will be played at Messa Rink this season as Union forgoes 2020-21 men’s and women’s campaigns (photo: Ross LaDue/Union College).

Union College today announced the cancellation of its men’s and women’s 2020-21 hockey seasons, one day after ECAC Hockey rival Rensselaer made a similar announcement and following last week’s Ivy League decision not to play this season.

Union brings the total number of programs canceling their seasons back to nine, after Rochester Institute of Technology today reversed its decision to call off 2020-21 play.

“This was an incredibly difficult and disappointing decision that we had to make in the best interest of our entire community, a decision that I was heartbroken to deliver to our student-athletes earlier today,” said athletic director Jim McLaughlin in a statement. “The pandemic continues to affect all aspects of our daily lives and unfortunately intercollegiate athletics, like many other extracurricular pursuits that students are passionate about on our campus, is not immune.

ECAC Hockey is left with four teams still planning to compete: Clarkson, Colgate, Quinnipiac and St. Lawrence.

“We explored every possibility to allow our students to compete, including remote learning opportunities within close proximity to campus. Unfortunately, we could not identify a scenario that allowed us to compete safely without compromising the academic experience of our student-athletes, which is the primary reason students choose to attend Union along with the ability to compete at the highest level of competition on a national stage,” said McLaughlin.

Union said that its teams “will continue to work with coaches and staff for support and on-ice opportunities throughout the winter term, allowing players the opportunity to hone their skills and grow both as students and as athletes.”