The div. I girls’ hockey state championship between #6 Sealakers and #1 Essex was canceled at 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday evening due to a developing COVID situation.
The Burlington/Colchester co-op was scheduled to face off against the Hornets at 4:30 p.m. at Leddy Park. Just after 4 o’clock, the Essex Hornets were on the ice skating starting warmups. The Sealakers never made it into the arena.
For more than an hour, the Burlington/Colchester team was outside of Leddy Park in the parking lot awaiting a decision whether they could play in the championship game or not.
At 2:05 p.m. this afternoon, VPA Executive Bob Johnson notified the media that the Sealakers were dealing with a COVID situation within the team but that the game was still scheduled to go on as planned.
Burlington School District and Colchester School District noted that they were notified of an evolving COVID situation involving the Sealakers. Prioritizing the health and safety of the student-athletes, coaches, and officials, BSD Superintendent Tom Flanagan and CSD Superintendent Amy Minor made the decision to not play in tonight’s division I game out of an abundance of caution.
At this time, both teams are still awaiting word from the Vermont Principals’ Association regarding the impact that this decision will have on the championship.
BSD and CSD released a joint statement regarding the cancellation of division one championship game: “Our heart goes out to our student-athletes as we make this difficult decision,” said Minor and Flanagan. “While our number one priority is to ensure the safety of our students and staff, we recognize that this is not easy. You have all put in so much hard work and dedication to get to the place where you were supposed to be able to compete for the ultimate prize, and COVID has taken that opportunity. Please know we grieve with you, but we feel the safest thing, and the right thing, for us to do is to not compete in tonight’s game.”
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.