Kerry Park forward Dawson Elzinga slides the puck past a Westshore defender during a VIJHL game last October. (Black Press Media photo)

Kerry Park forward Dawson Elzinga slides the puck past a Westshore defender during a VIJHL game last October. (Black Press Media photo)

Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League remains hopeful about 2020-21 season

Annual awards are cancelled, but league wants to resume season if possible

One of B.C.’s three junior B hockey leagues has opted to cancel its 2020-21 season entirely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the other two, including the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, are holding out hope that they can play.

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League decided to end its attempts at a season in the wake of last Friday’s extension of health restrictions until at least late February. The other two junior B circuits, the VIJHL and the Lower Mainland’s Pacific Junior Hockey League, have since announced that they still want to resume their seasons if and when restrictions are lifted.

The VIJHL has decided not to had out its annual awards this year, according to a statement posted to the league website on Tuesday.

“Although we continue to hold out hope to continue with a shortened season to compliment the games we have already played, it would be difficult to judge and select specific players within the currently regulated cohort structure,” read the statement, signed by VIJHL president Simon Morgan.

“We want to thank our players and coaches for staying the course and being proactive in protecting our communities and teammates. The continued interest shown by the majority of our athletes in maintaining their focus on development has been nothing short of amazing. For those players that have chosen to leave the League at this time and return home, our positive thoughts are with you, stay safe and thanks for your dedication to our sport and best wishes for your future.”

READ MORE: B.C. junior hockey league cancels season due to extended COVID-19 restrictions

The VIJHL managed to complete more games than the other junior B leagues before all play was halted in November, with most teams playing 11 and 13 games. By contrast, most PJHL clubs played between four and eight games, and most KIJHL teams played two or three. Some KIJHL teams opted out of the season before it even began, and the defending champion Revelstoke Grizzlies announced on Feb. 1 that they would end their season after several players tested positive for COVID-19.

All three junior B leagues had to end their 2019-20 seasons in the middle of the playoffs. The Cyclone Cup provincial junior B championship tournament for 2021 was cancelled by BC Hockey in January.

With files from Black Press Media



kevin.rothbauer@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

VIJHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Low interest rates have acted as a catalyst for the pandemic real estate market. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Real estate sales surging across Greater Victoria but risks lie ahead

Single family home prices jump nine per cent over past year while condo values remain stable

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 from Vancouver to Victoria Feb. 28 were exposed to a case of COVID-19. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
COVID-19 exposure found on flight from Vancouver to Victoria

Passengers in rows 13 to 19 on Air Canada Jazz flight 8069 Feb. 28 affected

Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for Greater Victoria, with winds expected to get up to 70 km/h Friday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Wind warning promises blustery Friday for Greater Victoria

Winds up to 70 km/h expected Friday morning

One person is dead after a camper van caught fire Thursday morning in Victoria's Beacon Hill Park. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
UPDATED: One person dead after vehicle fire in Beacon Hill Park

Investigation into Victoria death in early stages

Darcy Rhodes (left) says his grandfather’s bonsai trees are his ‘babies.’ (Courtesy of Tamara Bond)
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

(Pxhere)
B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

Some Canadians are finding butter harder than usual, resulting in an avalanche of social media controversy around #buttergate. (Brett Williams/The Observer)
#Buttergate: Concerns around hard butter hit small B.C. towns and beyond

Canadians find their butter was getting harder, blame palm oil in part one of this series

Most Read