PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The St. Cloud State women's hockey team was looking forward to getting home after playing its fourth consecutive road series to open the 2012-2013 season.
Well, it's not happening -- at least not today.
Twenty-two players and five staff members are stuck in Providence, R.I., as Hurricane Sandy sweeps towards the east coast. The Huskies, who played a series Saturday and Sunday against Providence College, were supposed to catch a flight out of Boston at 11:50 Monday morning.
"We were still going until 7 this morning and then Boston shut down the airport," Huskies head coach Jeff Giesen said. "We've looked into busing out of here, but it's not as good as we thought. They're closing roads because Pennsylvania is supposed to be hit with a snow storm."
Giesen, whose team flew out to the east coast on Sun Country Airlines, said that they were trying to charter a bus to get them about halfway back and then have a bus from Minnesota meet them and take them the rest of the way home. But that's not happening and Giesen said that the airport is going to be shut down Tuesday as well.
So the team is stuck in their hotel and waiting it out.
"We've got the war room going on here with computers and phones overheating, trying to get in touch with everybody and get moving," Giesen said.
There's a chance the team may not be able to catch a flight out of Boston until Thursday. The players were scheduled to miss a day of class today. But Giesen said that the players, athletic director Heather Weems and her staff are getting in touch with professors and teachers to let them know they could miss up to three more days of classes.
"There's some boredom setting in and there's already some anxiety about missing school because we have some pretty good students on our team," Giesen said this morning. "We don't want to miss five days of school and get behind."
Giesen said that there is a large mall near the hotel but it is closed today, so the Huskies are contemplating something more practical, like washing the small amount of clothing they brought on the trip.
"We're going to try to get some practice time at Providence and see if the college can help us do some laundry," Giesen said. "We may do some group laundry today."
There are no players or St. Cloud State staff from the east coast, so dealing with a hurricane is new territory. Of the team's 26 players, 15 are from Minnesota, two are from Wisconsin, two from Alberta, two from Ontario and one each from Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois and Manitoba.
"We're used to a big snow storm where things can get plowed out of the way or a tornado that whips through in a couple minutes," Giesen said. "All the east coast people we've talked to have said these hurricanes can linger and stall out. This storm is so broad and sweeping that it's amazing how far up and down the east coast things are shut down."
The Huskies tied and lost in the two-game series at Providence and are 2-5-1 for the season. St. Cloud State is scheduled to have its home opener at 7:07 p.m. Friday against Ohio State at the National Hockey and Event Center.
(Copyright 2012 by The St. Cloud Times/KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )