Coronavirus: B.C. junior B hockey championship tournament cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns

The Kelowna Chiefs and Revelstoke Grizzlies, seen here in action on Tuesday night, are battling each other in one of two KIJHL conference finals. Steve Dunsmoor / Dunsmoor Creative

Awarded annually since 1967, the Cyclone Taylor Cup has been lifted every spring.

For 2020, though, the trophy for being B.C.’s best junior B team will sit silently until next year.

On Friday, the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League announced that it has cancelled the rest of its playoff season, plus the 2020 Cyclone Taylor Cup championship as well because of coronavirus concerns.

The Cyclone Taylor Cup is a four-team tournament and was scheduled to take place in 100 Mile House this April 16-19.

Much like the CHL’s Memorial Cup, the Cyclone Taylor Cup features three league champions from B.C. — the KIJHL, Pacific Junior Hockey League and Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League — plus a host team.

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“KIJHL teams that were still participating in the league playoffs will cease all on-ice operations and end their seasons,” the KIJHL said in a press release.

“This development comes after the KIJHL was advised by Hockey Canada and BC Hockey this morning that the 2019-20 hockey season will not resume at a later date.”

Earlier this week, the KIJHL announced that it would be suspending its playoffs, with second-round action featuring eight teams having just started.

“As with the previous announcement on Thursday that the KIJHL playoffs would be suspended indefinitely, this decision was made with the health and safety of our players, coaches, volunteers, billets and fans as the sole consideration,” said the KIJHL.

“We share your disappointment at this news, and thank all those who contributed to an exciting and entertaining 2019-20 hockey season.”

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Also Friday, the PJHL announced it had cancelled the league championship between the Aldergrove Kodiaks and North Vancouver Wolf Pack.

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“There will be no league champion named for the 2019-20 season,” said the PJHL. “This comes after BC Hockey and Hockey Canada advised the PJHL Friday morning that the remainder 2019-20 season is cancelled.

“This decision also affects the 2020 Cyclone Taylor Cup, which was to be held in 100 Mile House in mid-April.”

Global News has reached out to the VIJHL for information regarding its currently suspended playoffs.

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The cup is named after Fred (Cyclone) Taylor, who helped the Vancouver Millionaires win the Stanley Cup in 1915.

Last season, the KIJHL’s Revelstoke Grizzlies won the cup in Campbell River, defeating the VIJHL champion Victoria Cougars 5-1 in the championship game.

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