Penn State hockey fans need not despair.
The government shutdown won’t stop the Army men’s hockey team from traveling here for Penn State’s home opener next week and the debut of the $90 million Pegula Ice Arena.
A decision from the Department of Defense cleared the way for the service academy to compete in its scheduled athletic events, Army officials said Thursday.
Penn State confirmed the news on its men’s hockey Twitter handle, saying the Oct. 11 game is on.
After the shutdown became official earlier this week, the Naval Academy said that all intercollegiate athletic competitions at the service academies were suspended, citing a Department of Defense directive.
Army canceled the men’s soccer game on Tuesday and the women’s soccer game on Wednesday, but now said that all scheduled events are back on, including its football game Saturday afternoon at Boston College.
A Pentagon spokesman previously told The Associated Press that the suspension was being reviewed by government lawyers to determine whether money used for the athletic activities is appropriated by Congress.
The announcement is good news for the 6,000-plus hockey-crazed fans who are expected to pack into the new arena for Penn State’s sold-out contest against Army.
The men’s team is set to travel to Colorado to play Air Force on Oct. 18 and 19, and those games, too, will proceed as scheduled.
Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.