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UND hockey forced to cancel annual media luncheon due to illnesses within the program

The Fighting Hawks are scheduled to open the season with an exhibition game Saturday against the University of Manitoba.

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Cutouts of UND hockey players' dogs travel to Fargo and serve as a backdrop for the UND bench in Friday's NCAA Midwest Regional.
Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS — A wave of illness has hit the UND men's hockey team just days before its scheduled opener.

The Fighting Hawks were forced to cancel their annual media day luncheon Wednesday "due to health and safety concerns within the North Dakota hockey program and out of respect for the media and those attending."

UND's exhibition against the University of Manitoba, scheduled for 6:07 p.m. Saturday in Ralph Engelstad Arena, is still on — for now.

"As of now, the status of Saturday's game has not changed," a UND spokesperson said Tuesday night.

Roughly half of UND's team missed practice Tuesday due to illness. It is unclear whether COVID-19 has been a factor yet. Non-COVID illnesses have been a major factor.

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Health and safety issues have been at the forefront of sports and college hockey for four seasons now, ever since the 2019-20 postseason was wiped out due to the coronavirus outbreak. Much of the 2020-21 season was played behind closed doors with constantly shifting schedules due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

Last season, UND had to postpone a home series due to COVID-19 positives within the program.

The Fighting Hawks are set to open the regular season Oct. 7-8 against Holy Cross in Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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