South Peace News
Playoffs in the Greater Metro Junior Hockey League are set to start this weekend.
West Division expansion director Derek Prue says the COVID-shortened regular season ends May 12.
“Alberta Health Services wants us to complete the playoffs by the end of May,” Prue says.
“We’ll start the playoffs May 14.”
Both series will be best-of-five games.
The High Prairie Red Wings have clinched first place and will face the fourth-seed Fox Creek Ice Kings.
The Slave Lake Icedogs will battle the Enoch Northern Alberta Tomahawks in the other series.
Other games are scheduled for May 15 and May 17 if necessary.
“It’s important for our players and fans to award a championship,” Prue says.
If the two opening series are over in two games, the championship series will start May 19, he says.
“It should be at least a best-of-five series.”
Fox Creek started practicing in High Prairie on May 2 after the ice was removed from the Fox Creek Greenview Multiplex, he says.
“It makes sense to have High Prairie as a hub,” Prue says.
High Prairie, Slave Lake and Fox Creek will use the Sports Palace in High Prairie until they are eliminated.
“The Town of High Prairie has been most accommodating,” Prue says.
“The mayor (Brian Panasiuk) and council went above and beyond to work with the Red Wings and the other teams.”
Playoffs also depend on regular testing of COVID-19.
No positive tested have been reported since the teams returned to practice Feb. 8 and game action April 9.
“We’ve been totally clean so far,” Prue says.
“The players are all staying in their bubbles.”
Prue says players in the West Division are preparing to attend summer camps in the United States.
“All players have committed to hockey camps in the States and they are eager to get ther,” Prue says.
An updated schedule of games and results are posted on the GMHL website. All games can be viewed online on gmhl.tv.