One of the premier rivalry games in the conference will not be played this season.

The announcement came Tuesday as Minnesota revealed the Gophers were pausing team activities due to positive COVID-19 tests within the program. That led to the cancellation of Saturday’s game between Wisconsin and Minnesota and put an end to college football’s longest uninterrupted rivalry.

Later Tuesday evening, head coach Paul Chryst released a statement in regards to the cancellation. He hoped for a swift and complete recovery to everyone involved with the positives tests while also acknowledging disappointment that the rivalry game will not be played this season.

The Battle for the Axe truly does mean a lot for players and fans on both sides of the contest:

Wisconsin will likely keep the Axe as the last winner of the game in 2019, but that is likely small solace for the Badgers at this point in time. The team was likely eager to defend the trophy on the field, and the cancellation also knocks the Badgers out of contention for the B1G Championship Game as Wisconsin will fall below the six-game threshold.

Wisconsin will now focus on its next opponent which will be Indiana on Dec. 5.