Minnesota State Mankato and Bemidji State opened their men's hockey season on Sunday with a 5-0 Mavericks win in Bemidji, but Monday afternoon's series finale in Bemidji has been postponed because of a positive COVID-19 test within the MSU program, the WCHA announced.
No makeup date has been announced of Monday's game, part of a two-game nonconference series that originally was pushed back two days by Bemidji State. A statement released by Minnesota State said tests administered before Sunday's game produced no positive results prior to game time.
The Mavericks and Beavers are scheduled to play a WCHA series on Friday and Saturday in Mankato, but further competition for Minnesota State is awaiting outcomes related to contact tracing. Any schedule adjustment will be made later.
North Dakota picked to win NCHC
North Dakota, the 2019-20 NCHC regular-season champion, is a nearly unanimous pick to win a repeat title in 2020-21, according to conference media members.
The Fighting Hawks, who are ranked No. 1 in both major national polls, received 27 of 28 first-place votes in the NCHC preseason media poll announced Monday. UND received 223 points and easily outdistanced Denver (185, one first-place vote) and Minnesota Duluth (173). St. Cloud State was fourth (126), followed by Western Michigan (116), Nebraska Omaha (96), Colorado College (45) and Miami of Ohio (44).
The NCHC begins play Dec. 1 with all eight teams traveling to a pod in Omaha for 40 games over three weeks. The conference will split into East (Miami, Minnesota Duluth, St. Cloud State and Western Michigan) and West (Colorado College, Denver, Nebraska Omaha and North Dakota) and complete all cross-division play before returning to campus sites starting Dec. 31 to finish the remainder of their schedules.