The Quality Foods Oceanside Generals are back in action on the road against the Nanaimo Buccaneers on Thursday, following a seven-day suspension of games in the VIJHL’s North Division due to COVID-19 incidents in the Nanaimo school system.
Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League president Simon Morgan halted all the schedules games involving the Generals, Campbell River Storm, Comox Valley Glacier Kings and Nanaimo Buccaneers on Nov. 12 as a safety precaution.
“Due to a recent confirmed COVID-19 case in the Nanaimo school system where several VIJHL players attend, the four North Division VIJHL teams have elected to pause all league games for the next seven days effective immediately,” Morgan announced on Nov. 10.
“The four North team governors are taking this measure out of an abundance of caution and to do everything that they can to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” he said.
“We expect this pause will help ensure the continued safety of their players and is in the best interest of their families, our fans, volunteers and our communities’ safety.”
The VIJHL has been divided into three different groupings or “cohorts”. In October when the season started, the four North Division teams formed one cohort, three teams in the South Division formed one cohort and the remaining two South teams created one cohort.
“To be clear – no VIJHL player has tested positive for COVID-19 and this is a precautionary measure that will allow the VIJHL to monitor the situation and evaluate re-start activities when appropriate,” Morgan said.
“We continue to take direction and advice from public health officials, viaSport BC and local recreation authorities to help determine next steps.”
The Generals will then host the Buccaneers at Oceanside Place on Nov. 21.
Meanwhile, the Generals have selected the players who will carry the task of leading the team on the ice this VIJHL season.
Defenceman Aiden Sutherland has been named team captain and the alternates are forwrd Dawson Heathcote and bluelineers, Brandon Hannibal and Aleka Karamanis.
So far this season, the Generals are ranked second in the North Division behind the leaders Storm with seven wins, four losses and one overtime loss.