Minor hockey takes a two-week break

Icedogs also take a break due to COVID

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

The brand-new minor hockey season in Slave Lake came to a screeching halt on Nov. 14. Slave Lake was not on the list of Alberta communities ordered by the province to suspend indoor sports in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. But the league the Slave Lake teams belong to decided a league-wide shutdown was prudent.

“It just affects too many of our teams,” says a message from the Northern Alberta Interlock League on its website, “and we are respecting the pause for Alberta to get the (COVID) numbers down so that we can enjoy hockey in the future.”

At the moment, the plan is to re-commence league games on Nov. 28.

Not everything has stopped. In Slave Lake, U7 and U9 house league games can proceed as scheduled, according to the Slave Lake Minor Hockey Association.

“Teams are permitted to continue practices as normal,” the SLMHA announcement continues. But apart from that (except for the above-noted exceptions), “no scrimmage/house games locally (or exhibition games) will be permitted, due to cohort restrictions that will affect our ability to return to league games.”

The Slave Lake Junior ‘A’ Icedogs were due to play Fox Creek and High Prairie this past weekend. But those games were postponed, apparently due to heightened concerns about COVID risk.

This followed a Nov. 12 announcement by the team that said the new provincial two-week ban on indoor team sports did not apply to junior, college or professional sports.

“Play resumes next weekend,” said Icedogs’ GM Lauren Barr in an email to The Leader.

Barr said the postponement was a precaution.

“No Icedogs have COVID,” she said.

The Icedogs are scheduled to host the Northern Alberta Tomahawks this Friday and play in Enoch Saturday night against the same team.

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