WALKERTON – Walkerton Hawks manager Steve Barrett said he’s looking forward to a relatively normal season, although it will be starting three weeks later than normal.
Provincial Junior Hockey League action – in fact, all local junior hockey – is scheduled to begin Oct. 1.
Barrett said the decision was made to push the date back to hopefully avoid starting the season with a lot of restrictions still in place.
A recent statement indicated that “while the league did everything possible to play last season, it became clear that a season would not be possible with all the COVID restrictions. With many municipalities removing their ice and using their arenas as vaccination clinics, teams were without ice to practice or play … The time to operate a season and then some form of playoffs became nearly impossible.”
The Hawks, like the rest of the league, are working out schedules and putting together this year’s team.
“There’ll be a few new faces on the roster, and a few returning players. Trades are in the works. We’ll know in the next week or so how the 2021-22 team will look,” said Barrett.
He confirmed Brad Tiley will be returning as coach.
“He’s been chatting with a few prospective assistant coaches,” said Barrett.
Although it remains to be seen how many spectators will be allowed in the arena and what restrictions will be in place at the start of the new season, Barrett said everyone is looking forward to having people in the stands cheering for the Hawks.
“Come out and watch the Hawks!” said Barrett.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times