MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The defending Class 2-A champions are out of the Minnesota state boys hockey tournament despite legal action against a COVID-19 policy.
Hill-Murray School’s team forfeited their Wednesday night game against Wayzata High School after a judge ruled against nine seniors who sued the Minnesota State High School League. The 11-page lawsuit asked for a temporary restraining order to allow Hill-Murray to play in the tournament.READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: 375 New Cases Reported, Positivity Rate At 2.2%
Last week, Hill-Murray played White Bear Lake for the section championship. Shortly after, they learned a player from White Bear tested positive for COVID-19. The league says the team has to quarantine until Thursday. The players were hoping a lawsuit would be their answer to keep playing.
Bob Kaufman, of Lake Elmo, has a son on the team.
“One person — I won’t name their name — said you’re telling me the worst that’s gonna happen is your kid won’t play in a hockey game. I don’t think they have any appreciation of what this means to these kids,” Kaufman said. “No one player was in close contact with this player for more than four seconds.”READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: Data Show State's Conservative Counties Have Lower Vaccination Rates, Reflecting National Trend
State health officials determine whether or not an exposure has occurred. If they determine it did, a quarantine is recommended. Under MSHSL guidelines, if a team is not able to participate in their schedule postseason game, they forfeit.
The lawsuit says even though the boys don’t agree with their case being a high-risk exposure, they then propose rescheduling the game to Thursday when their quarantine is over.
Wayzata’s athletics and activities director told WCCO they left every option to find a solution for Hill-Murray and would follow the guidance of the league and the Minnesota Department of Health. Wayzata now advances to the semifinals on Friday.
Former North Stars hockey player Neal Broten is mentioned in the affidavit, saying playing the state hockey tournament was critical to his career.MORE NEWS: COVID In Minnesota: Positivity Rate Inches Up To 2%, With 340 Newly Confirmed Cases
In Class A, Hermantown is in the same situation. The coaches are planning to use their JV team in the first game tonight, along with three varsity players who had been injured and were not exposed last week.