CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —
Thomas Casey received’t get one other probability to chase the Memorial Cup.
The Canadian Hockey League (CHL) introduced Tuesday that the nationwide championship was cancelled for the second straight season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It wasn’t a shock to Casey and his Charlottetown Islanders teammates, but it surely nonetheless stung.
“It was a troublesome capsule to swallow,” mentioned Casey, the lately turned 21-year-old right-winger, who’s in his last season of junior hockey.
The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) has not performed a sport this season, whereas Western Hockey League groups have performed between two and 17 contests. It was obvious to many a Memorial Cup was an extended shot.
“We’re clearly disenchanted, however with the OHL not beginning this 12 months, it wasn’t a shock,” Islanders captain Brett Budgell mentioned. “Clearly, everybody’s well being and security is the first concern.”
Casey mentioned they’re past grateful to nonetheless be enjoying hockey this season and are optimistic they’ll have a Quebec Main Junior Hockey League playoff and attempt to safe the franchise’s first President Cup.
“We’re undoubtedly fortunate to be within the Maritimes and fortunate to be on P.E.I.,” the Charlottetown native mentioned. “Hopefully we are able to nonetheless get a Pres Cup championship. We’d like to play playoffs and get that chance.”
Listed here are some details in regards to the Memorial Cup:
• What – The championship of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). The four-team event is held yearly with a bunch workforce and the three league champions that comprise the CHL (Quebec, Western and Ontario leagues). It dates again to 1919.
• The newest – The CHL introduced Tuesday the 2021 event has been cancelled. It’s the second 12 months in a row the occasion received’t be staged because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Reigning champs – The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Main Junior Hockey League are the final workforce to win the Memorial Cup. They defeated the host Halifax Mooseheads within the 2019 last.
• Charlottetown Islanders captain Brett Budgell mentioned: “It’s one of many hardest championships to win, and this 12 months, clearly, we’ve bought a very good workforce.”
The Islanders have constructed a robust workforce with championship aspirations this season.
Charlottetown is 33-5-0-0 and sits atop the 18-team league based mostly on successful share. They’ve performed 32 of these video games towards the Halifax Mooseheads and Cape Breton Eagles as video games with the three New Brunswick groups haven’t been permitted since November. Video games between Maritime- and Quebec-based squads haven’t occurred this season.
The Islanders obtained a double whammy of robust information on Tuesday with the Memorial Cup announcement coming a couple of hours after the Atlantic bubble date was pushed again from Monday to at the least Might 3. The Islanders have been hopeful of getting to check themselves towards the New Brunswick groups and never having to work-isolate. Since February, the gamers have solely been allowed to go to the rink for practices and video games and their billet properties. They cannot see household or associates.
Some groups would have been distracted by the Tuesday’s new, however not the Isles. A couple of hours after the bulletins, Charlottetown blasted Halifax 8-1 on the Eastlink Centre.
Casey mentioned head coach Jim Hulton had them ready and it confirmed as Drew Elliott scored 78 seconds into the sport and the house aspect by no means regarded again.
“All by the lineup guys contributed and performed actually arduous for one another, so it was good to see after getting some arduous information in the present day.”
Budgell, a 19-year-old centre from Paradise, N.L., mentioned it confirmed the workforce’s resilience and character.
“It’s not simple getting unhealthy information like that, particularly since we’ve been in work-isolation for therefore lengthy,” he mentioned. “It’s been actually robust on the group, however I’m actually pleased with everybody and the way they’ve dealt with this case and this complete season.”
Budgell, who has a 12 months of junior eligibility remaining after this season, mentioned the workforce will proceed to take a day-at-a-time mentality with a aim in the direction of successful their last sport of the playoffs.
“As we all know, every little thing modifications so shortly on this pandemic, so for us that may be a aim on the finish of the day and that’s what we’re centered on,” he mentioned.
The 2021 Memorial Cup was alleged to be hosted in Ontario. The CHL mentioned choices concerning the timing and site of the 2022 Memorial Cup might be introduced at a later date.
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