With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full swing, UNLV Hockey has officially announced the cancelation of the 2020-2021 season. The coaching staff explored every possible option to have a season but State guidelines determined there wasn’t a safe enough way to continue with a season.
"We had several different discussions with the state but the bottom line basically was that in order for us to continue with a season we would have to be testing regularly 2-3 times a week each player and as much as we would want to do that it’s very costly,” Assistant Coach Nick Robone said. “The second thing being that even within our league there’s only a handful of teams playing, so currently we would have to have teams come to Las Vegas to play because the school was going to basically not let us travel.”
The loss of this season has left the seniors with fewer games and opportunities to get noticed by higher-level competition in the game of hockey. The coaching staff plans on showing their appreciation and gratitude towards the seniors but has yet to decide on the best way to do that.
“It affects us greatly and it’s really tough to not be able to have a senior season and one last trip around the sun to really cherish those last moments knowing that they’re the last moments,” Team Captain Kirk Underwood said. "Last year kind of turned into that and we didn’t really know it was happening when it was happening.”
The seniors on the team are missing out on countless last moments and a senior night to celebrate with their families. All of our hearts go out to the seniors who are losing what might be the last form of competitive hockey they get the opportunity to play.
"If I could have it my way, and I think a lot of the guys could agree, we would like to know those were the last moments whether they were stepping on the ice or going on a road trip with the guys, or practicing early in the morning.”
The Rebel Hockey program is looking forward to working with the WCHL, UNLV, and City National Arena as they prepare for the Fall 2021 season.
As they carry on in preparation, the team maintains a championship culture and focuses on bringing everyone on the team closer together. The players are doing different activities with each other including zoom calls to remain within the safety precautions.
UNLV Hockey looks forward to seeing all of their fans in the stands once again for the Fall 2021 season. Until then, they will continue to work hard for a great year ahead.