Quesnel Kangaroos captain Alessio Tomassetti might not get a chance to defend the CIHL title in 2021. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer File Photo)

Quesnel Kangaroos season “unlikely” amid COVID-19 pandemic

Team president Tyler Coleman isn’t optimistic the CIHL season will go forward

The Quesnel Kangaroos might not get a chance to defend their Central Interior Hockey League (CIHL) playoff championship in 2021.

Team president Tyler Coleman said the current recovery phase makes it impossible to play games.

“As of right now, it’s unlikely that we’ll have a season,” he said. “For us to be able to have a season, we’d have to move into the next phase of return to normal, and we’re not there yet, and it’s hard to see whether we’ll be there anytime soon.”

The CIHL needs fans in the stands to make a season work.

“We’ve gotta have a minimum of 50 per cent capacity in rinks — not just our rink, but all rinks,” Coleman said. “Each of the teams in our league, the rinks have to have that capacity to make it work.”

READ MORE: Quesnel Kangaroos GM: ‘We’ve got to be able to fill seats to have a season’

The league has set out a potential start date in December, but Coleman isn’t convinced they’ll be ready for puck drop that day.

“I’m not sure what the end date [is] where they’ll just call it for the year,” he said. “They haven’t come out and said that yet.”

Despite no season, the team will begin practising Oct. 5.

“Financially, we’re fine. On ice, the guys don’t really like it,” Coleman said. “If everything stays the same right now, at least we’ll be able to get on the ice and practise.”

Despite the potential of a lost season, Coleman said COVID-19 prevention should be the league’s top priority.

“There’s bigger things going on; we need to make sure we’re doing our part to help with getting out of this COVID-19 situation,” he said. “Make sure everybody’s healthy and safe, and supporting our community.”

The West Fraser Centre will be open for minor hockey starting Sept. 21, with attendance restrictions and prevention measures.

READ MORE: Quesnel minor hockey hoping for COVID-19 shutout

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


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