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Fans anxious for the start of the BC Hockey League season will have to wait a little longer.
In accordance with the BCHL COVID-19 Safety Plan, approved by the Board of Governors, the league will adhere to Provincial Health Office (PHO) orders and will not schedule any games between now and midnight on Dec. 7.
The result of this decision, recommended by the BCHL Return to Play Task Force, will push the regular season start date of Dec. 2 back to Dec. 8 to accommodate the new orders against team travel.
“If the PHO extends their current restrictions beyond Dec. 7, we have the option of moving the start date to after the holidays, but it is our intention to begin play once the current order expires”, said BCHL commissioner Chris Hebb. “Our objective from the beginning, when we worked out our COVID-19 Safety Plan with the PHO, was to allow our players to have a season, but we want to make sure it is under the safest conditions possible.”
In accordance with the order, the remainder of the exhibition schedule has been cancelled.
The four Okanagan-based teams have already completed their preseason schedule, with the Penticton Vees beating Vernon in overtime back on Nov. 14 to claim the first Okanagan Cup title.
“Should the season start be delayed past Dec. 8, the players that choose to go home for the holidays will be required to adhere to travel guidelines, including going into isolation for 14 days prior to joining their team,” said league executive director Steven Cocker.
A revised regular-season schedule will be released in the coming weeks for a Dec. 8 start
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