Preparations are underway for New Brunswick teams to resume play as soon as next week in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
The Saint John Sea Dogs, Moncton Wildcats and Acadie-Bathurst Titan haven’t played a competitive game since November because of COVID-19-related restrictions.
It has been a difficult time for players who have gone without meaningful games for more than two months. ”
For myself it’s my last year in the league, so, I mean I realize now that I’m not going to have a full hockey season, but you just have to take the positives out of it,” said Moncton Wildcats captain Jacob Hudson, a native of Antigonish, N.S.
“It’s tough on their mental health,” added Saint John Sea Dogs President and General Manager Trevor Georgie. “It’s tough on their social environment, it’s tough emotionally so the news on Friday was very welcome news and we’re really excited to get back going.
“I think exciting would be an understatement.”
It’s a different story in Nova Scotia and P.E.I., where COVID-19 restrictions have put the brakes on their seasons. But there is once again a call to look at the positives.
Officials with the Halifax Mooseheads point out they can at least still get on the ice.
“The stops and starts have created some challenges and I think some teams in our league, a lot of the teams in our league in particular the hockey operations staff, have done a good job kind of keeping kids engaged,” added Mooseheads President Brian Urquhart.
Fans have been waiting, too. Jamie Tozer runs the blog Station Nation and says he’s cautiously optimistic as teams prepare to hit the ice.
“After all we’ve been through this season, I think we’re all going to enjoy the games a little bit more in that honestly it could be shut down at anytime in the future so take advantage of what you can,” Tozer added
A revised schedule is due out in the coming days.