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Northeastern postpones winter sports until Dec. 18 after athletes from five teams go into quarantine

It will be a few more weeks until any games are held at Northeastern's Matthews Arena.
It will be a few more weeks until any games are held at Northeastern's Matthews Arena.David L. Ryan

Northeastern has canceled games for all winter sports until Dec. 18.

The teams affected are men’s and women’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s basketball, indoor track and field, and swimming and diving.

The announcement came after a cluster of COVID-19 cases led to the quarantining of athletes from five teams.

“When you’re making a decision of this magnitude, the No. 1 priority is the wellness and safety of the student-athletes,” said Northeastern athletic director Jeff Konya. “Analyzing the facts as we know them right now, this decision gives us our best chance of conducting intercollegiate athletics in an appropriate way in mid-December.”

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The men’s hockey team was set to begin play this weekend with a home-and-home series against UMass Lowell. The men’s basketball team was scheduled to compete in the Paradise Jam tournament in Washington, D.C., where it would have played three games in three days beginning on Thanksgiving.

“Dec. 18 represents our first date when we can engage in our first competition,” said Konya. “Once we get through this incubation period with our teams, within a week we’re going to be ramping up practice activities.”

Those activities will start with teams working in individual groups before building up to each team being able to practice together.

Konya said that “small outbreaks” had been discovered on the women’s basketball and hockey teams, and on the men’s and women’s track and field teams.

The women’s hockey team, ranked second nationally, was supposed to open with a home-and-home series against Merrimack Dec. 4. The women’s basketball squad is scheduled to face Merrimack Dec. 19.


Follow Andrew Mahoney on Twitter @GlobeMahoney.