OHL regular season cancelled (updated)
The Niagara IceDogs’ season is over.
Ontario Hockey League Commissioner David Branch announced Wednesday the conclusion of the 2019-20 Ontario Hockey League regular season.
Following a meeting with the OHL Board of Governors and consultation with medical professionals, it was determined that the remaining 56 games of the 2019-20 OHL Regular Season schedule will be cancelled and not played.
“In the interest of the safety of our players, officials, staff, fans and the general public, it’s been agreed that the cancellation of the remainder of the 2019-20 regular season is the proper course of action to take at this time,” Branch said.
There is still a possibility of playoffs.
“We are continuing to monitor ongoing public health developments regarding COVID-19,” Branch added. “When it is safe and we may resume play, we will advise on the status of the 2020 OHL playoffs.”
The IceDogs finished tied for the eighth and final playoff spot with the Kingston Frontenacs, but Kingston was awarded eighth place based on more regular season wins.
The IceDogs will finish the season in ninth place with an 18-39-5-1 record and will select second overall in the upcoming 2020 OHL Draft April 4.
“It’s a tough day for everyone and obviously we wanted to finish the season and fight our way in,” IceDogs general manager Joey Burke said. “I kind of expected it to be honest with the nature of the way things have been going.”
Burke would have loved to see the IceDogs play a one-game showdown with Kingston for the final playoff spot.
“Our biggest question was if we would get a play-in game with Kingston. We had a feeling there wouldn’t be time to finish the regular season,” he said. “It’s disappointing to not have that chance.
“I’m more disappointed for the players and especially the OA’s (overagers Ivan Lodnia, Elijah Roberts and Oliver Castleman). They wanted it so bad and wanted to get the young guys in (to the playoffs).”
The silver lining is that the IceDogs will select in the highest spot in team history.
“I’m quite happy to pick second and bring a young stud in here,” he said.
The IceDogs also announced all individual and group tickets for the final two scheduled home games can be exchanged for tickets to any game next season. Season ticket holders can exchange their tickets for two tickets next season (per seat/per game). For example, if you have two season tickets, you will receive four additional tickets for each unplayed home game. Alternatively, the credit can be applied to next year’s season tickets. Banked season tickets will be honoured, one for one.
These ticketing exchanges and renewals will take place once the IceDogs business office re-opens, which is still to be determined.
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