PJHL delays start of season as teams struggle to secure facilities

The junior B hockey league was hoping to start Sept. 29 but is now targeting mid-October

The Pacific Junior B Hockey League has pushed back the date of its opening games by a couple weeks.

The PJHL had originally planned to get rolling Sept. 29, but teams still face uncertainty about whether or not they’ll be able to use their facilities. Some municipalities have set a low bar for how many people can be allowed in a building at one time.

PJHL commissioner Trevor Alto said the league was prepared for a shift to plan B.

READ MORE: Former BCHL executive installed as new PJHL commissioner

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“We have indicated all along the importance of flexibility with our planning,” he said. “All of our teams have completed their camps and identified their rosters as of September 15, however, at this time not all of our facilities are prepared to host game play by our previously identified date of September 29.

“We had identified this as a possibility and our schedule was prepared to make the adjustment. Our facilities are our partners and we need to continue to work together.”

Plan B includes a 36 game schedule with cohorts in place.

The Chilliwack Jets will likely see a lot of the Abbotsford Pilots, Mission Outlaws and Aldergrove Kodiaks until the mid-point of the campaign. At the 18 game mark the league will take a break and, according to a PJHL news release, cohorts will be adjusted for the remainder of the season and playoffs.

Teams can begin exhibition play immediately and while regular reason games can begin Oct. 15 with league approval, teams have the option of waiting until Nov. 1.

“This is basically allowing teams and facilities the flexibility to have a soft start to the season,” Alto explained. “Ice availability will be tight this year, so it is important to allow teams to play regular season games as soon as they need to while also allowing others the ability for more exhibition play or the ability for their facilities to have a little more time to complete return-to-play plans.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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