A flu outbreak among the players on the Minnesota State University-Mankato hockey team has led to the cancellation of the Mavericks men's hockey game against Princeton scheduled for Saturday night.
A message on the university's website said that the team does not "...have enough healthy student-athletes to field a team."
The cancellation decision was made "...after consulting with...the NCAA, Verizon Wireless Center and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, and discussing our options," according to university athletic director Kevin Buisman.
"There were several complicating factors in the decision which involved facility scheduling, individual and team travel and the fact that there is no guarantee that we would have enough bodies to play tomorrow," Buisman's statement said. "We know that our fan base and those that follow us would have wanted to see the third-rated Mavericks play tonight and hope everyone can understand this difficult situation and the issues we faced in coming to this decision."
Buisman said that the game would be declared a "no contest."
The players have plenty of time to recover. The team is not scheduled to play again until Jan. 2, when a league road series at Northern Michigan is scheduled.
The Star Tribune reports that the MSU-Mankato team is 13-4-0 on the season and ranked third in the nation, according to USCHO.com. The Associated Press noted that the Mavericks beat Princeton 5-0 on Friday night. Plans for ticket reimbursement for Saturday’s game will be announced at a later date.
Meanwhile, FOX 9 reports that Orono High School's varsity hockey team is also suffering with a number of flu cases. The team's Saturday's game against Cathedral was cancelled and will be rescheduled.
The Minnesota Department of Health this week declared the flu widespread in the state, and reported 185 flu-related hospitalizations as of Dec. 6.