David Silye breaks in on teammates Steve Holtz (right) and Evan McIntyre during a practice March 12 at the South Okanagan Events Centre. (Mark Brett - Western News)

BCHL suspends 2020 playoffs until further notice

Games and hockey-related activity have been cancelled until further notice, due to COVID-19

The B.C. Hockey League (BCHL) season has come to a halt following the announcement by the league to suspend the 2020 playoffs until further notice, amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Effective March 13, all games and hockey-related activity involving any Canadian Junior Hockey League clubs will be cancelled until further notice.

This affects each of its 10-member league’s playoffs, the four regional championship events as well as the Centennial Cup Canadian National Junior A Championship slated for Portage la Prairie, Man., this May.

There are 17 Junior A teams across the province including the Penticton Vees, West Kelowna Warriors, Vernon Vipers, Salmon Arm Silverbacks, Merritt Centennials and the Trail Smokeaters.

The announcement came following talks between the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) which oversees Junior A hockey teams nation-wide and Hockey Canada. As well, the Province banned all large gatherings of 250 or more.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Province bans large gatherings in B.C.

A similar announcement was made earlier Thursday by the CJHL that the Western Hockey League (WHL) season, including the Kelowna Rockets, was being suspended. The WHL is one of three regional leagues; the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League seasons were also suspended.

Several sports leagues including the National Hockey League (NHL) decided to suspend its 2019-2020 season until further notice.

READ MORE: NHL suspends 2019-20 season amid coronavirus pandemic, MLB postpones season

In making the announcements the CJHL said the decision was made in consultation with medical professionals and the CHL executive council and that it takes “very seriously” the health and safety of its players, fans, volunteers, staff and general public. The suspension includes games and “all hockey activity.”


 

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