If all stays on track, yelling fans will be again cheering on their local senior hockey teams this fall.
The Central Interior Hockey League’s president, Ron German, said everyone was itching to get back to playing hockey, as the league plans their return in the fall of 2021.
“I think by the time people are allowed in these rinks, people are going to be excited for it, and there will be good fan support,” he said. “Who’s not going to be hungry to watch a hockey game?”
In the 2019/2020 season, the league had seven teams, Terrace, Williams Lake, Prince Rupert, Hazelton, Quesnel, Kitimat and Smithers. The following season was completely cancelled due to COVID-19.
German said teams will need to confirm their status by July 1 for the 2021/2022 season and is hoping the eighth team from Vanderhoof will join.
“I imagine they’re scrambling around right now because times are going to be tough with getting commitments from sponsorship and players,” he said. “Once we have an idea of who’s in, we’ll start hashing out some schedules.”
Kitimat Ice Demons player, Kyle Boudreault, spoke on behalf of the senior men’s AA team saying that they’re just waiting for all the other teams in the league to make the commitment but are happy to hear hockey will be starting up again this coming season.
“As far as we know now, we got enough guys willing to make the commitment so it should be a go. […] It’ll be nice to get back on the ice, the last time we were playing we were in the playoffs but then covid hit and they cancelled the rest of the playoffs, so it’ll be nice to get out there and see what we can do,” Boudreault said.
Each team in the league usually plays a 16 game schedule, which German said could be tight if they start during their planned opening week of late October.
-With files from Jacob Lubberts