For the second straight weekend, PHF games have been postponed, but this time around it wasn’t inclement weather that kept players off the ice. It was COVID-19 protocols sidelining the Boston Pride from traveling to Newark, New Jersey to play the Riveters on Dec. 18 and Dec. 19.
From the PHF’s release:
The Premier Hockey Federation has announced that the regular season games scheduled for Saturday, December 18, 2021 and Sunday December 19, 2021 between the Boston Pride and the host Metropolitan Riveters have been postponed.
The postponement is due to COVID-19 protocols affecting the Boston Pride, and out of an abundance of caution to prioritize the health and safety for members of both organizations and the PHF community.
The weekend series will be rescheduled for a future date to be determined.
The Ice Garden reached out to the PHF for clarification on what league protocols for COVID-19 are. We were directed to the league’s public protocol page. The league also clarified that “The number and identity of any individual(s) affected will not be disclosed.”
Unfortunately, the Riveters originally had their Mental Health Awareness night scheduled for Saturday, which means this important event has also been postponed to a date to be named later.
Of course, the Pride are not the only team that has had to change its plans due to COVID protocol. COVID appears to be hitting the professional hockey world particularly hard right now which has resulted in a few NHL teams suspending games until after the holiday break; it seems like every other team has a growing list of players who are unable to play because of tests and protocol. It’s also worth noting that the PWHPA’s Montreal team could not travel to this weekend’s showcase due to Quebec’s new restrictions surrounding COVID.
All of this feels eerily familiar and prompts important questions about priorities and the safety of both fans and players. Just today, the Buffalo Beauts reminded their fans on Twitter that masks are required at Northtown Center. With that said, it’s an encouraging sign that the PHF chose to demonstrate an “abundance of caution” and postpone this weekend’s games. Though, it should also be noted the absence of a head of the PHFPA is all the more glaring in moments like these.
This is the first time that COVID has caused the postponement of game in the PHF 2021-22 season. Given everything that is happening in the world around women’s hockey, chances seem good that this won’t be the last.
There are still four PHF games on the schedule this weekend. The Connecticut Whale and Buffalo Beauts will meet each other in Buffalo and the Toronto Six and Minnesota Whitecaps will meet for their first series of the season.
Editor’s note: this article was updated at 2:24 p.m. ET on Dec. 18 to reflect the PHF’s response to a question posed by The Ice Garden.