By Alex Gallacher
The OJHL (Ontario Junior Hockey League) has announced that the season will resume Feb. 1, as the province transitions out of their modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen plan.
The league, which includes the Haliburton County Huskies, has also announced that the season has been extended to accommodate the rescheduled games. The new end-date for the 2021/2022 season will be April 7, with full fan capacity set to return on March 14. Current fan restrictions are set at 50 per cent or 500 people, whichever is less.
The Huskies, who last played on Jan. 2, will take to the ice on Feb. 4 against the Lindsay Muskies in Lindsay. Following that, they will head back to the S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena less than 24-hours later to face off against the Wellington Dukes at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 5.
“The OJHL Board of Governors were unanimously in favour of extending the OJHL regular season to allow for our players to play the full 54-game season,” said OJHL Commissioner Marty Savoy in a press release. “When the provincial government announced the shutdown, our teams immediately started the process with the league of rescheduling games in an effort to have as many scheduled once the league resumed play.”
During the off time, the Huskies have been keeping fit by working out in small groups and holding team skates on local lakes in the area, enduring the frigid conditions. Many of the players have stayed in the area, with some being called to play in the OHL (Ontario Hockey League) or play with teams in the United States.
The Huskies view this as a fresh start and are eager to get back on the ice.
“It’s exciting to get back on the ice,” head coach Ryan Ramsay said. “We were very nervous they were going to extend the lockdown again, but we are thankful to be back playing and the boys are chomping at the bit to get back at it.”