The National Women's Hockey League confirmed on Thursday that the Metropolitan Riveters were withdrawing from the Lake Placid tournament after several members of the organization had tested positive for COVID-19.
The Metropolitan Riveters have withdrawn from the 2021 NWHL season after several members of the organization tested positive for COVID-19.— NWHL (@NWHL) January 28, 2021
Press Release: https://t.co/D8b0kxYz5q
“Our team is heartbroken to not have the chance to compete for the Isobel Cup, but we are aligned with the league in prioritizing the well-being of all of the players and staff,” Riveters head coach Ivo Mocek said in a statement. “We wish the best to our respected opponents, and I assure you that the Metropolitan Riveters will be back to compete again in Season 7 for our fans and all of our amazing supporters.”
The league also announced that all games scheduled for Thursday would be postponed out of an abundance of caution with the tournament resuming on Saturday afternoon.
Earlier on Thursday, ESPN's Greg Wyshynski reported that the team was withdrawing over COVID-19-related "health and safety concerns."
On Wednesday night, the team did not play in their scheduled game against the Buffalo Beauts with the Toronto Six taking their place. At the time, the NWHL said the decision not to play was "made in line with the NWHL's medical protocols prioritizing the health and safety of all participants during this season in Lake Placid."
The tournament will continue with the five remaining teams in a round-robin format.
The championship Isobel Cup final is scheduled for Feb. 5.