Captain Alessio Tomassetti says Kangaroos players are excited to get back on the ice after the 2020/2021 CIHL season was cancelled. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Captain Alessio Tomassetti says Kangaroos players are excited to get back on the ice after the 2020/2021 CIHL season was cancelled. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Senior hockey plans post-pandemic return to Quesnel this fall

The eight-team Central Interior Hockey League includes franchises in Quesnel and Williams Lake

If all stays on track, yelling fans will be again cheering on their local senior hockey teams this fall.

The Central Interior Hockey League’s president, Ron German, said everyone was itching to get back to playing hockey, as the league plans their return in the fall of 2021.

“I think by the time people are allowed in these rinks, people are going to be excited for it, and there will be good fan support,” he said. “Who’s not going to be hungry to watch a hockey game?”

In the 2019/2020 season, the league had seven teams, Terrace, Williams Lake, Prince Rupert, Hazelton, Quesnel, Kitimat and Smithers. The following season was completely cancelled due to COVID-19.

READ MORE: Quesnel Kangaroos’ CIHL championship defence on hold

German said teams will need to confirm their status by July 1 for the 2021/2022 season and is hoping an eighth team from Vanderhoof will join.

“I imagine they’re scrambling around right now because times are going to be tough with getting commitments from sponsorship and players,” he said. “Once we have an idea of who’s in, we’ll start hashing out some schedules.”

Excitement is building inside Quesnel as well. Team captain Alessio Tomassetti is ready to begin the quest for a CIHL three-peat.

“Everyone’s really excited to just be out on the ice again and play in front of the ‘Roo fans,” he said. “We will have a fast exciting team to watch again this season and hopefully we can make it three championships in a row.”

Each team in the league usually plays a 16 game schedule, which German said could be tight if they start during their planned opening week of late October.

READ MORE: New CIHL team being built with players from Vanderhoof and Fort St. James

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