Michigan Hockey reacts to NCAA’s ‘frustrating’ decision to end their season

The Michigan Wolverines men's hockey team saw their promising season end prematurely thanks to COVID-19.

The NCAA officially removed the Wolverines, who were the No. 2 seed, from the Midwest Regional after positive COVID-19 testing. Their previously scheduled matchup against Minnesota Deluth is now considered a no-contest.

For head coach Mel Pearson, it's a frustrating end of the campaign.

“You’d rather Duluth beat you than COVID, but I guess that’s the way it’s going this year,” Pearson told MLive in a phone interview Saturday. “You feel for your players, especially for the kids who won’t get another chance.”

With several future NHL players on their roster and finishing third in the Big Ten, the Wolverines had higher aspirations that will unfortunately now go unfulfilled.

“It was a really good year,” Pearson said. “A coming out party for our freshmen, who continued to get better as we played. Some real growth within some of our underclassmen, especially our sophomores this year who took another step.

“We had a chance. I think that’s what makes it a double whammy, because you have a team that has a good chance to do some special things this year. You know as a coach when you’re missing something or you’re not doing well defensively or you don’t have the offensive numbers. But we were fourth in the country defensively. We were top-10 offensively, one of the best goalies in the country. When you add everything up, we had a pretty darn good hockey team that didn’t get a chance to shine on the biggest stage, which I believe they would have.”

– – Quotes via Ryan Zuke of MLive