After only playing a handful of games before cancelling their 2020-2021 season, the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is planning to go ahead as normal as possible this fall.
KIJHL Commissioner Jeff Dubois says all 20 teams, including the 100 Mile House Wranglers, are ready and hungry to get back on the ice.
“With the recent announcement from the provincial government, that looks very promising,” Dubois says, “were ramping up and raring to go.”
Dubois says they’re hoping to be back to normal as much as possible, but are also expecting some COVID-19 related safety measures in place.
“We’ve got experience now having working through those things during the 2021 season, so we’ll be ready for whatever the landscape looks like come September.”
Dubois says the three teams that didn’t participate last year (100 Mile House, Beaver Valley, and Spokane), have indicated they are planning to play this year.
“Last year wasn’t what anyone planned for or hoped for, but ultimately our athletes did get to be together and be practicing and playing a few games,” Dubois says, “I think the big thing for us is there’s a lot of excitement around getting fans back in our arenas. We’ll see what that looks like once we get through the Labour Day weekend and hopefully we get into that final phase of the provincial government’s restart plan. Right now, being able to play the game that we love in front of our fans, that’s our goal and what we’re looking forward to.”
Teams will play a 42-game regular schedule and will play 8-games against divisional opponents, and 2 games against teams in the opposing division within the same conference. The upcoming season is expected to begin on October 1st.