SCHENECTADY — Liam Robertson was the hero of Union’s 1-0 win over Princeton on Dec. 3 when he scored the game-winning goal.
Robertson played the next night against Quinnipiac, but then didn’t make the trip for the Dutchmen’s two-game series at Maine the following weekend.
Now we know why. Robertson confirmed during a teleconference Wednesday with reporters that he tested positive for COVID-19. He’s expected to be back in the lineup when the Dutchmen host defending national champion UMass on Friday and Saturday as the teams close out 2021 and start 2022 at Messa Rink. Both games start at 4 p.m.
“It was on the Tuesday [or] Wednesday that I found out,” Robertson said. “It wasn’t much to it; I just had to pack up and head to a hotel for 10 days. I didn’t get much time to think about it.”
For Robertson, the Dutchmen’s leading scorer with six goals and three assists, being isolated for 10 days was an interesting experience.
“It was crazy,” Robertson said. “I started to go a little insane seeing the same four walls for 10 days without leaving. But it’s a lot better than 14 days like it was before. It’s not that bad. It could be worse.”
Robertson, like the rest of his teammates, is vaccinated. It’s a mandate from the college that all students must be vaccinated. The only exception made is for individuals who have been granted a medical or religious exemption, according to the Union College website. Those granted an exemption are tested weekly for COVID-19.
“It was definitely frustrating, knowing I had [been vaccinated] and still get it,” Robertson said. “Either way, it’s over and done with now. I’m glad it’s all over, and I’m ready to get back to it.”
Robertson was interviewed after Union head coach Rick Bennett spoke with the media. Bennett was asked about the status of Robertson and junior forward Gabriel Seger, who also missed the Maine series. All Bennett would say is one was injured and the other had an illness.
“Knock on wood,” Bennett said, “as of today, we are doing well.”
With the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, the Dutchmen know that they must be careful. Union, which canceled its season last year because of the pandemic, hasn’t missed a game so far this season.
“It’s obviously in our interest to play games,” Union junior goalie and Hudson Falls native Connor Murphy said. “Nobody wants to get COVID. It’s just kind of one of those things that you have to be diligent with and always have in the back of your mind to be smart when going out in public and things like that. We’re all doing our best trying to not get it in hopes that we can continue playing.”
Union is fortunate to be playing. On Wednesday, ECAC Hockey announced that the two-game series between Quinnipiac and Princeton was postponed due to health and welfare protocols initiated within the Princeton men’s ice hockey program.
Last week, Union Athletics announced that fans attending indoor events must not only wear a mask, but bring proof of vaccination.