The Elk Point Elks and the Two Hills Longhorns will both be sitting out their scheduled hockey games in the SaskAlta Senior Hockey League this weekend.
Both teams play in the Alberta division, which has six teams. The Elks were scheduled to play against Kitscoty, while the Longhorns were expected to face off against Wainwright. Instead, players of both teams are sidelined and the Monarchs and Rustlers will play a home-and-home series this weekend instead.
Elk Point Elks manager Murray Cochrane said the reason they’re not playing this weekend is because they are located within the County of St. Paul, which is currently an enhanced region of the province’s pandemic response.
On Tuesday, the provincial government announced all indoor sports in enhanced areas are not allowed to continue for at least the next three weeks.
“I did make an application to Alberta Health Services for an exemption, but I haven’t heard from them and we cancelled. We needed to know by last night so we could book refs and make sure everything’s lined up. But it is what it is,” said Cochrane.
He said no one on the team has tested positive for COVID and they’ve all be conscious of keeping the risk to players and their families low.
“There’s been a couple players that stayed away, because maybe there was a case of COVID at work. But it didn’t come out to be that there was. We just took a lot of precautions,” said Cochrane.
He said the team are of course disappointed to not be playing this weekend, but they understand the situation and will continue to respect what Alberta Health Services says.
“For us, it’s disappointing, but I’ll tell you what, it’s even more disappointing for the kids. The minor hockey stuff. That’s more disappointing. We’re just a bunch of adults playing hockey. I think it’s harder on the kids,” said Cochrane.
The Elks are off to a 2-0 start after a pair of wins against the Paradise Valley Jets.
The SaskAlta league has been running the league with each team just playing provincial rivals and taking two weeks off in between games.