Penticton Vees fans may soon find themselves without any games to watch due to COVID-19. (Mark Brettt - Western News)

COVID-19 puts fate of BCHL season in question, KIJHL suspends games

Hockey Canada and the CJHL currently in talks to come up with plan for remainder of season

Following the suspension of the NBA, MLS, and NHL seasons due to COVID-19 the fate of the BCHL playoffs are now in question.

READ MORE: NHL suspends 2019-20 season amid COVID-19 concerns

Black Press Media has learned that the CJHL, which oversees all junior ‘A’ hockey leagues in Canada, is currently in talks with Hockey Canada, the two parties are expected to make an announcement regarding remainder of the BCHL season by the late afternoon.

There is a real possibility that the BCHL playoffs may be suspended, however it is different from pro sports leagues considering there is no air travel and games take place in front of significantly smaller crowds.

It is hard to predict what the two parties will decide, explained Penticton Vees director of communications, Trevor Miller.

“It’s a situation that no one has ever really handled,” said Miller.

The Penticton Vees are scheduled to being the second round of the playoffs tomorrow night against the Vernon Vipers.

Meanwhile, the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League has suspended all games as of Thursday afternoon. For Thursday, the decision cancels matches between Princeton Posse and Kelowna Chiefs, Kimberly Dynamiters and Columbia Valley Rockies, Beaver Valley Nitehawks and Nelson Leafs, and Revelstoke Grizzlies and 100 Mile House Wranglers.

In Canada, more than 100 people have now tested positive for COVID-19, including a baby boy in Ontario Thursday. Ontario has the most cases at 42, with B.C. at 39, Alberta at 14 and Quebec at seven.

Globally, there have 118,322 confirmed cases and 4,292 deaths, the majority of them in China. The World Health Organization declared the new coronavirus a pandemic on Wednesday.

More to come on this developing story.

READ MORE: Penticton Vees to face rival Vernon Vipers in second round of BCHL playoffs

@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

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