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Government Shutdown Cancels Air Force Exhibition; Leaves Weekend Games in Jeopardy

The lingering shutdown of the federal government is starting to take its toll on college hockey.

Speaker of the House John Boehner
Speaker of the House John Boehner
Joe Robbins

Air Force was scheduled to start their season with an exhibition contest against the University of New Brunswick this evening, but due to the continuing federal government shutdown, the school announced this morning that the game will not take place.

New Brunswick did play exhibitions against Colorado College on Saturday, and Denver on Sunday, so their trip to the Rockies was not a total loss. But it's a disappointment that Air Force will miss out on the opportunity for a preseason tune-up before they begin their real games.

More importantly, if the government shutdown continues, it could start have an effect on regular season games next weekend. Air Force is schedule to skate in the Kendall Hockey Classic next weekend in Anchorage, playing Alaska on Friday and Alaska-Anchorage on Saturday. The good news is that even if the Falcons cannot play this weekend, no program is more uniquely position to make up a pair of games in Alaska than Air Force. As head coach Frank Serratore likes to say, there's a reason they're not called 'Bus Force'.

Meanwhile, Army finds themselves in the same predicament. The Black Knights only have one scheduled over the next two weeks, but it is an important one, as they're scheduled to be the first opponents at Penn State's new Pegula Ice Arena on Friday. Army is already scheduled to only play 31 games this year, rather than the maximum 34, so losing out on another game would make their season that much shorter.

No official decision has been made, but College Hockey News' Mike McMahon reported today that Penn State has contacted some other Atlantic Hockey schools about possibly filling in for Army to make sure that game gets played.