As the calendar inches closer to mid- January, Hagersville Hawks forward Tycie Cowan is starting to wonder if there will be a season.
The Provincial Junior Hockey League, which consists of the Hagersville Hawks pushed the season starting date back for a third time to February 1, 2021. That however has changed as the league recently announced that due to the current COVID-19 provincial lockdown, the season has now been delayed indefinitely.
“I’m not quite sure on the season,” Cowan said. “I don’t think that we will be playing this year.” Cowan went on to add, “I’m just working everyday and trying to eat healthy. It’s hard with the holidays but I will be fine as soon as things get back in action.”
Previously, the 63- team league had announced season starting dates of December, 2020 and January, 2021, but they were cancelled due to the rising number of COVID -19 cases. Currently, with this latest COVID-19 lockdown which began December 26, 2020, players around the PJHL like Cowan are trying to remain optimistic but they know that with February not far away, time is starting to run out on having a shortened season.
“I kind of figured that it would (the February start date being scratched) because the number of cases but that (season not starting in Februry) doesn’t matter to be,” Cowan said. “What matters is next year. This season I think it’s too far gone.”
In order to play this year, the PJHL will need the green light from government, local health officials, and hockey governing bodies such as Ontario Hockey Association, Ontario Hockey Federation and Hockey Canada. Meanwhile PJHL commissioner Terry Whiteside added in a statement,
“Our No. 1 concern is for the safety of our players, coaches, staff and fans. All of us want to be able to have a safe return to hockey. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve we will be monitoring and preparing ourselves to be ready to return to the game.”
All anyone can do is wait and hope the numbers go down, and it becomes safe to play hockey once again.