The ice is out - Hornets likely won't have any kind of season

·3 min read

With no games or practices taking place and the ice now removed from local arenas, it is looking more likely that the Alliston Junior C Hornets will not realistically see any kind of season this year.

The Club managed to get in a couple of exhibition games against the Orillia Terriers in December before the region went into a Code Red alert, but, even then, those games were under a lot of restrictions.

Teams were allowed to roll only two lines with a max-imum of ten players on the bench.

There was no hitting allowed, and there were no face-offs after goals or an off-side.

The plan was for the Hornets to play two games against Orillia followed by a two week break before going up against the Stayner Siskins for a couple of games.

Originally, the PJHL was hoping for an early January start to the season; however, when the province went into lockdown, all hockey activities across the province came to a screeching halt.

“Due to the restrictions, we’re not able to do anything,” said Hornets Team Captain Ben Beausaert. “Obvious-ly with COVID going on we can’t even have any group meetings or anything like that. It just wouldn’t be safe. We haven’t done anything since we went to the red zone. We played Orillia and that was before Christmas. We were playing with no contact, different rules and there was social distancing on the bench. There were no face-offs either. It definitely was a different game. It was more like a scrimmage. We only had two lines on the bench and there was no stoppage. Luckily were we all practicing before that so we were all in shape.”

There was hope that a late season may still be salvaged, but after the province went into lockdown, teams now aren’t hopeful that any more hockey will take place this year.

“We were hoping for mid January [at first], whenever we were supposed to get out of the Red Zone, but obviously things have gotten worse,” Beausaert said. “We haven’t heard anything and it’s not looking too good. The numbers would have to change significantly for us to be able to go out to the arena. I don’t think we’ll be back on the ice any time soon. The best case scenario is we can have a regular season for next year, but that will all depend on the next couple of months and how the numbers change with CO-VID. It’s just the way the world is going right now. There’s a lot of things that people are missing out on. It’s not the end of the world – it would be nice if we could play, but what can you do? You can’t control that.”

Players aren’t sitting idle.They are keeping up with dry-land training to stay in shape.

Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times