Island's bubble decision puts interprovincial hockey games on ice

·3 min read

Hockey leagues across the Island have released their game plans following news that P.E.I. has left the Atlantic bubble.

As of 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, those arriving from the other Atlantic provinces will now have to self-isolate for 14 days.

And while people may continue to travel off-Island for essential purposes, P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison has said there will no longer be any interprovincial sports tournaments.

Charlottetown Islanders

On Tuesday, the Charlottetown Islanders announced that regular season play will not be taking place during the province's two-week leave from the Atlantic bubble.

In a tweet, the Islanders said the joint decision, made between the team and the P.E.I. government, is in the best interest of P.E.I. residents and, of course, hockey fans.

The Islanders took to the ice for their home opener on Oct. 23 after receiving the green light from the Chief Public Health Office (CPHO).

Only 970 fans were allowed in the stands — all season ticket holders and all wearing masks.

That night, the team defeated the Saint John Sea Dogs 5-1.

Travis Kingdon/CBC
Travis Kingdon/CBC

The two were set to face-off again on Nov. 20. But after a staff member with the Sea Dogs organization tested positive for COVID-19, the game was postponed.

And for now, that matchup will have to wait a little longer.

Summerside Western Capitals

The Maritime Junior Hockey League also released several schedule changes on Monday due to situation with the Atlantic bubble.

The Summerside Western Capitals will be unable to play this upcoming weekend, a release from the league said.

As a result, the Nov. 26 game against the Pictou County Crushers has been moved to Feb. 7. And the game on Nov. 28 against the Amherst Ramblers will take place on Nov. 28 of next year.

"The junior team, the league and ourselves as a building went into the season knowing that there were going to be ups and downs and knowing that there may be some challenges along the way," said J.P. DesRosiers, Summerside's director of community services.

"This is one of them. And we're going to adapt and react and support our team in the league as best we can and continue to follow the guidance public health has put forth."

An announcement for the games in Summerside on Dec. 3 and 5 will be made at a later date, the release said.

Submitted by City of Summerside
Submitted by City of Summerside

For now, DesRosiers said the players will continue to train so they are ready for their games when the time comes.

"It's fair to say this isn't going to go on forever," said DesRosiers.

"We've all done the right thing, there's no point stopping now, and we look to the future on the other side of COVID."

Minor hockey

Hockey P.E.I. is urging minor hockey players to follow the guidelines provided by the CPHO.

The CPHO has said that anyone who has returned from Nova Scotia or New Brunswick in the past week should be diligent and limit their contacts, wear a mask at all times and arrange for testing if symptoms appear.

Children who have returned from travel in the Atlantic provinces can still go to school, but the CPHO said they shouldn't attend social functions or sporting events — like hockey or ringette games or practices — for 14 days from when they arrived back on the Island.

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