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UMass Down Loses Key Players for Frozen Four Due to Covid

Boston University v Massachusetts-Amherst Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

After the early rounds of the tournament were impacted by three teams being forced to withdraw from the tournament due to Covid protocols, there was considerable fear that after a week-and-a-half wait, there was the possibility of teams being impacted for this week’s Frozen Four.

While, thankfully, no team has had to withdraw from this week’s Frozen Four, UMass announced today that they will be forced to play without some key players in their semifinal match-up against Minnesota Duluth.

Filip Lindberg is the starting goalie for UMass and is currently leading the nation in save percentage with a .946 number. His back-up, Matt Murray, is still available, and has considerable experience, playing 84 games over this course of his career, including appearing in 13 games this season, with a very respectable .915 career save percentage. He’ll be the only goalie, however, for the Minutemen, as third string goalie Henry Graham was also impacted.

The loss of Gicewicz is a big one up front as well. The team’s third-leading scorer, he has played his best hockey in the postseason, assisting on UMass’ only goal in the Hockey East championship game, then scoring a goal in their opening round win over Lake Superior State, and scoring a natural hat trick in the regional final against Bemidji State to send UMass to the Frozen Four.

Harding has been a fixture on UMass’ fourth forward line down the stretch this season, scoring 4-2-6 in 20 games for the Minutemen.

While these are tough losses for UMass, it’s still a small blessing that they’ll still be able to compete at the Frozen Four, and hopefully no new cases arise that cause further issue.