STRAIT AREA: Junior and minor hockey teams will be off the ice for at least another week.
During a meeting on Jan. 11, Hockey Nova Scotia said the decision to resume hockey will be made by Jan. 24.
Cape Breton West U18 Islanders coach Nick MacNeil said that means his squad has to wait like everyone else.
“We’re just going to practice for the next couple of weeks, then wait and see what comes after that,” he told The Reporter.
If the Nova Scotia U18 Hockey League schedule resumes, MacNeil said they will be hosting the Kohltech Valley Wildcats on Jan. 30 and 31 at the Al MacInnis Sports Centre.
Cape Breton West is then scheduled to travel to Cole Harbour for games on Feb. 6 and 7, then it’s back to Port Hood to host their rivals Steele Subaru on Feb. 13 and 14.
The Islanders are scheduled to face the Valley Wildcats on the road on Feb. 20 and 21.
According to the league’s website, the Islanders have 12 games that have to be rescheduled.
“We’d like to get in at least 20-30 games come February, March, April,” MacNeil said.
During this hiatus, MacNeil will continue to keep his players sharp, safe and make sure they’re having fun.
“We’re trying to keep it as light as possible for them, we’re trying to keep their spirits up, we’re playing a lot of games,” he said. “We’re doing some off-ice workouts… We’re just trying to keep it rolling. We just got to keep pushing the kids and make sure they’re prepared if something comes up on Jan. 30.”
When play was suspended, the Islanders sat in fourth place in the league with a record of 6-4-1, good for 13 points.
In the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League, the Canadian Tire Strait Pirates have to make-up games with the Cumberland County Blues, the Pictou County Scotians, the Eskasoni Junior Eagles, the Junior Minors, and the Antigonish AA Munro Bulldogs.
In addition to their game against the Pirates, Antigonish had to reschedule games versus Eskasoni, and Cumberland County.
Pirates assistant coach Tim MacMillan said his team expected to play on Jan. 8, and was practicing the week before, but had to change those plans.
“We will have all our students back, and all through quarantine, for this (week),” he said. “We’ll hit the ice again with our full group, now that everyone is through the quarantine process and back to school.”
The NSJHL held a league meeting on Monday night to discuss their schedule and MacMillan hopes they will resume play on Jan. 29 when they are slated to host the Pictou County Scotians at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.
“We’re going as if we’re going to play,” MacMillan added. When play was stopped, the Bulldogs sat atop the Sid Rowe Division with a spotless 6-0 record, while the Pirates are in third place with a 3-4 record