Iced again; PMHA says hockey season is over

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The hockey season is over for the Petrolia Oilers.

The Petrolia Minor Hockey Association announced Monday the season will not continue.

“The decision was not an easy one but with so many unknown factors, we feel it’s the best choice to keep our players and coaches safe,” the association wrote in a post on its website. “The board will continue to work hard to get ready for the upcoming 2021/22 season.”

The abrupt ending to the season is similar to last year when the Ontario Minor Hockey Association ended play because of the COVID-19 pandemic as the provincial finals were just about to begin. OMHA declared both teams entered in the finals as champions and sent out the famous red hats.

With the summer lull in the pandemic, PMHA, along with other minor hockey associations across Ontario, started playing again in September. The rules were changed significantly to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 but most parents and players were happy to be back on the ice.

But play was iced again in December when the provincial government declared a second lockdown across the province on Boxing Day.

While the Ford government announced it would slowly lift the lockdown, it would have taken some coordination to get the season going again. The Town of Petrolia removed the ice at the arena in January to save money.

PMHA officials say parents who have fully paid for the 2020/2021 season can be refunded or receive a credit for next year.