PJHL officially ends the season - Hornets done for the year

·2 min read

The Provincial Junior Hockey League has officially announced the cancellation of the 2020/21 sea-son.

This year will pretty much be a blank page in the record books.Teams got in a few exhibition games this year, and even that was difficult.

Teams couldn’t cross heath districts to play, meaning their competition was reduced to a couple of teams.

There were no fans, the rules were changed, and teams had to split their lines and play in a re-duced capacity.

The Alliston Hornets managed to get in a couple of games.

“We played Orillia and that was before Christmas,” said Hornets captain Ben Beausaert earlier in the season. “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.”

The League issued a statement on April 22 regarding the cancel-lation.

“While we did everything pos-sible it became evidently clear that a season would not be possible with all the COVID restrictions. With many municipalities remov-ing their ice and using their arenas as vaccination clinics, our teams were without ice to practice or play. And with a league our size, the time to operate a season and then some form of playoffs became nearly impossible.”

While the season has been can-celled, if restrictions are lifted, teams may continue to skate and provide opportunities for their players to conduct exhibitions play.

That will require approvals from local health units and the League.

There are 63 teams in the PJHL that play in eight divisions across the province.

Division champions go on to compete against other division winners for the provincial championship Schmalz Cup.

The PJHL board of directors, staff, and teams are now all ac-tively engaged in planning for the 2021/22 season with hopes of returning to a traditional hockey format.

Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times