After missing this week’s home series against Minnesota for U.S. World Juniors training camp, Michigan hockey sophomore forward Johnny Beecher has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Boston Globe. 

Despite a subsequent rapid test that came up negative, Beecher will not be allowed to participate in the World Junior Championship, as IIHF rules disqualify players after a single positive test. Beecher — along with Wolverines freshman forward Thomas Bordeleau, his roommate at the camp in Plymouth — has returned to Ann Arbor, where he hopes a second negative test can clear him to return home to Elmira, New York. 

Beecher’s positive test comes during a brief break for Michigan. With the first half of the schedule completed, the Wolverines won’t practice again until Dec. 21, Michigan coach Mel Pearson said after Wednesday’s loss. Although the second half of the schedule has not been released yet, Pearson said he anticipates games will resume between Jan. 2 and 8. 

Under normal Big Ten protocol, positive rapid tests are followed by a PCR test for confirmation. If the PCR test is also positive, the athlete is required to sit out from team activities for 21 days. Because Beecher’s test came outside of the normal 6-day-a-week testing from the Big Ten, it remains unclear how it will impact his and Bordeleau’s return to practice or how contract tracing could impact the rest of the team. 

Michigan previously had zero cases of COVID-19 since returning to play in November. Across the Big Ten, Wisconsin was the only hockey program to have had a positive test in the first half of the season — resulting in the cancellation of its series against Michigan State.