The Western Hockey League East Division hub in Regina has been operating smoothly as it nears the halfway mark of the 2020-21 season.
With each team playing 10 games to date, the league says there haven’t been any major hiccups as of yet.
Prior to the season, the league spent a lot of time coming up with a protocol to ensure the safety of everyone in the hub, and to this point, it’s paid off.
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“There’s probably four or five versions of that protocol going back to last summer when we were hoping that we could start playing in the fall,” said Kevin Muench, WHL director of officiating.
“We had to make some adjustments … maybe the doors people are entering in or how they’re moving through the building. But we’ve had no significant situations.”
With COVID-19 variants of concern continuing to wreak havoc in Regina, the impact hasn’t trickled into the hub.
All seven East Division teams are only permitted to be at the dorms, on the bus or at the rink.
“Certainly there’s a concern in Regina about the variance in the way they’re going,” Muench said.
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“But really, with the way we’re set up right now, we’ve been sort of eliminated from all of that.”
He credits the collaboration between the Saskatchewan government and its health authorities along with the league, teams and Evraz Place.
And for the players, they feel fortunate to be playing.
“We work hard for this, the league works hard for it and it’s what our parents work hard for,” said Roddy Ross, Pats’ goalie.
“This is huge for all of us and this means a lot for us to play. We’ve got to make sure we’re making the most of it.”
For the league to complete the season, it knows the importance of continuing to follow protocol to avoid any problems.
“Complacency right now isn’t something that we can accept. They understand that the privilege that they’re having right now to play hockey,” Muench said.
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“We all respect that and we’re going to do the right things to make sure we maintain that.”
Fans are encouraged to stream games on WHL Live to see their favourite team in action.
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