It will be multiple weeks before the RPI men’s and women’s hockey teams host any more games.
The RPI men’s hockey team is making an unexpected second trip back to Vermont after the school announced Friday that the Engineers’ game next Thursday against the Catamounts had been moved from Houston Field House to Gutterson Fieldhouse in Burlington, Vermont.
Meanwhile, the RPI women’s hockey team’s games against Merrimack Jan. 1-2 at the Field House have been canceled.
Kevin Beattie, RPI’s associate athletic director for communications, cited the current COVID-19 situation as the reason for the changes. The decision to not host the men’s game came Thursday, but was announced Friday after it was determined Vermont could host the contest. That game will start at 2 p.m.
“They could host, and we could not,” Beattie said. “We’re not hosting events at the moment, so instead of canceling the game, they were generous enough to host.”
RPI played at Vermont on Oct. 23. The Engineers won 2-1.
The RPI women’s team wasn’t able to get their games moved to Merrimack.
Classes resume at RPI on Jan. 10, but will start remotely. Beattie said classes are expected to be remote until Jan. 24.
The men’s hockey team’s next scheduled home game is Jan. 21 against Yale, while the women are back at the Field House Jan. 14 against Quinnipiac.
“We don’t have other home games for a while, and that will allow for our students and community to be tested on a regular basis,” Beattie said. “That should not be an issue down the road.”
After canceling all sporting events last season because of the pandemic, RPI has limited fan attendance at athletic events this season. Only students, faculty and staff have been allowed to attend games.
RPI’s announcement comes three days after Union athletics updated its COVID-19 regulations. Fans 12 years and older attending all indoor collegiate sporting events at Messa Rink, Viniar Athletic Center and Alumni Gym Pool will have to bring proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.
The policy goes into effect Thursday, when the women’s basketball team hosts Middlebury. The Union men’s hockey team is hosting UMass Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. The next Union men’s basketball game is Jan. 7 against Skidmore. The men’s and women’s swimming host Hartwick and Springfield Jan. 8. The women’s hockey team returns to Messa Jan. 14 against Princeton.