As I have posted several times my son has been, and still is, on The Observer staff. As of the start of Spring Break, he's now simply a senior sportswriter as he gets ready to graduate in two months.
Notre Dame was on Spring Break last week. The Observer hasn't published since Thursday March 9. They will publish again tomorrow (March 21). There have been about a dozen stories published on website since Spring Break began - mostly about basketball, one about a student death and a few others. For the most part, the paper shuts down during breaks.
In addition to the fact that there was Spring Break and most of the staff is off campus, there also isn't an unlimited travel budget. Observer sports travel is pretty much football road games and NCAA tournaments in basketball and hockey if it can be done cheaply enough.
My son drove back to campus from Indy and went to Buffalo to cover men's basketball along with a student who lives in Mishawaka and a photographer who did not go home for break. Because Buffalo was a drive they were willing to make, they went. The expenses are a few nights in a hotel with all 3 guys in one room, a couple of meals and few tanks of gas. They mostly ate media room food. Women's basketball was covered easily as it was at home with a few writers who came back early. Hockey East tournament wasn't getting an on-site writer, just like the ACC Men's and Women's Basketball did not get an on-site writer.
I will tell you hockey would have been covered on site this upcoming weekend if ND ended up in Cincinnati. The writer who drove there last year on Spring Break was prepared to go again. They simply don't have the funds to send anyone to Manchester. Get to Chicago, and they likely will send someone to cover it (assuming the NCAA basketball rule that says you have to cover the first round to get a following round doesn't apply to hockey).
Could the hockey beat writers have thrown together a quick article about the Lowell game and the tournament pairings? Probably. But you weren't going to get anything that wasn't in a Notre Dame release.
But to have expectation for full coverage when school isn't in session is not a realistic expectation.