GOJHL puts return to play on hold
The Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League has done the expected and put their proposed regular season on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has caused a province-wide shutdown and new restrictions, including the closing of indoor sports facilities as of Dec. 26.
“Our priority is to exhaust all options in order to have some sort of season,” GOJHL commissioner Mark Tuck said in a prepared statement. “We are doing everything we can to get our players, teams and league through development and game play to a safe return to the ice.”
The GOJHL will continue to work with local public health units and facilities to develop an updated Return to Play plan that includes the measures necessary to protect players, officials, staff and fans.
The GOJHL had hoped to begin training camps Jan. 15 followed by a regular season starting Feb. 4.
Fort Erie Meteors general manager/coach Nik Passero understands the ruling, but feels for the players who have been practising and playing pre-season scrimmages since September.
“They have done nothing but do what they are told without batting an eye, whether it is wearing a mask, social distancing or COVID screening every single day,” he said.
“All the kids want to do is play and I feel for them. We have been together for over four months now without a single positive case and hockey is getting ripped away from them again. I respect and understand the decision by our public health units and our government but hope that we get to return to the ice as soon as possible.”
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