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COVID-19: WHL pauses team activities for Kelowna, Brandon

Any plans the Kelowna Rockets or Brandon Wheat Kings had this week have been shelved.

On Wednesday, the Western Hockey League announced that team activities for Kelowna and Brandon have been paused due to multiple players and staff either having tested positive for COVID-19 or exhibiting symptoms.

In a press release, the WHL said it’s working in consultation with its chief medical officer, but that three league games have been postponed, including two involving the Rockets.

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Kelowna was to visit Everett on Friday night, but that game has now been rescheduled to Sunday, Feb. 6. Also, Kelowna’s road game in Vancouver on Saturday has been postponed.

The third game was a Friday night clash in Regina between the Wheat Kings and Pats. That game was set to be nationally televised on TSN.

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“The health and safety of all WHL participants is the top priority for the WHL,” said the league.

“In order to reduce the risk of exposure to and transmission of COVID-19, the WHL requires all WHL roster players, hockey operations staff, and other team and league office personnel to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a Health Canada approved vaccine.”

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In WHL standings, Kelowna (18-10-1-3) is second in the B.C. Division with 40 points, five behind first-place Kamloops (22-11-1-0).

In the East Division, Brandon (18-14-2-2) is also second with 40 points. In first, and first overall in the league, are the Winnipeg Ice (28-5-2-0) with 58 points.

In recent weekend action, the Wheat Kings went 2-for-3, beating Red Deer 4-1 on Friday, falling 5-3 to Edmonton on Saturday, then bouncing back and defeating Calgary 3-2 in overtime on Sunday.

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Kelowna, meanwhile, went 2-for-2, smashing Victoria in back-to-back home games, 6-4 on Friday, then 9-1 on Saturday.

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