“The athletes came in into designated hotels on designated floors,” she said. “They were restricted in the sense that they went from their rooms to the rink, rink to the room. That is the technical term of what this bubble was. That’s how we defined it.”
The NWHL had an agreement with Yale University to provide saliva-based COVID-19 testing for players and staff, similar to what the NBA used for its Disney World bubble last year. Even that testing couldn’t keep the virus out, and Toronto owner Johanna Neilson Boynton said, “We knew going in it was a gamble.”
“We stuck by a very strict protocol, and there’s human error,” NWHL Players Association executive director Anya Packer said.
Tumminia added, “Defining the origin and placing blame right now is not really our game.”
Two semifinal games Thursday and the final Friday were set to be televised nationally in the U.S. on NBC Sports Network, putting women’s hockey in a prominent spotlight a year away from the Beijing Olympics.
Despite not doing that, Tumminia called the NWHL season “successful.”
“I actually see it as a success, she said. “I’m very proud where we got to this point.”