CHESHIRE — In preparing to play amid the coronavirus pandemic, Cheshire ice hockey coach Anthony Giusto told his players to be ready for anything and to adapt as best they could.
This week, that adage will be put to the test.
On Monday morning, Cheshire learned that, due to COVID-19 protocols, the coaching staff and players must quarantine through Sunday, Feb. 28.
Giusto said a team member has tested positive for coronavirus, but added that the individual hasn’t been with squad since Wednesday, Feb. 17. By decree of the Connecticut Department of Public Health, people need to quarantine for a period of 10 days after their last close contact.
“We have to be prepared for everything this year,” Giusto said. “I sent the kids an email that said we are rolling with the punches. We can’t get too high or too low.”
The Rams were scheduled to play Daniel Hand on Saturday. That game has been postponed.
Giusto said the Rams plan to make up games and play out the rest of the season.
“Being off the ice for 10 days, it will be a challenge to play three games a week going forward,” stated Giusto. “Everybody is making the SCC tournament, so we already have a spot. With other teams in the state facing similar (COVID-19) situations, I think it will come down to who adjusts best later in the year.”
Though unable to get together as a team, Cheshire players can work out at home.
“I talked to the kids about staying active, whether it is stick handling in the driveway or running on a treadmill if you have one,” Giusto said.
At the time of the shu down, Cheshire sits at 0-3 after losses to Amity (3-1, Feb. 13), North Haven (3-2, Feb. 15), and Sheehan (7-3, Saturday). Penalties have hampered the Rams early against their SCC/SWC Division II opponents.
“While we are 0-3, I’ve seen positive things in all of our games,” reflected Giusto. “Once we get back on the ice, it will just be practices and games through the rest of the year.”
Cheshire is scheduled to play Guilford next Monday, March 1 at Louis Astorino Ice Arena in Hamden. Giusto hopes to push that game back a day so the Rams can have at least one practice after coming out of quarantine.
Overall, Giusto feels that his team has done a good job adapting to this season’s safety measures, such as wearing masks during practices and games.
“When we get back on the ice, we’ll go right to work and, hopefully, get our first win of the year,” said Giusto.
Due to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws, Cheshire Athletic Director Steve Trifone said that he couldn’t go into detail on the ice hockey situation, but added that the athletic department has protocols in place to keep athletes and coaches safe.
At the start of the winter tryouts in January, the freshmen boys basketball team also had to quarantine due to COVID-19 protocols.
“It is still a pandemic and things arise along the way,” said Trifone. “We will do our best when situations come up. You always want to have precautionary measures to keep everyone safe.”