Hockey night in Petrolia as Squires, Flyers host openers

Oct. 2021 File Photo

The Greenwood Recreation Centre will be a busy place this week with both the PJHL’s Petrolia Flyers and the WOAA’s Petrolia Squires hosting home openers on consecutive nights.

The Flyers entertain Wheatley on Thursday at 7:30, while the Squires open a new senior season against Ripley on Friday night at 8:30.

The Flyers are looking for their first win of the season after road losses in Mooretown and Blenheim to open the regular season earlier this month. It’ll be the first PJHL contest at Greenwood since the Flyers beat Amherstburg, 2-1 on Feb. 22, 2020 to force a seventh game in their first-round playoff series with the Admirals. Amherstburg went on to win game seven a night later.

The GM of the Flyers says a capacity limit of 500 fully vaccinated fans remains in place for tonight’s PJHL contest at Greenwood. Dennis Meston says the town has made that decision despite the province allowing rinks across Ontario to open to full capacity.

Meantime, a handful of players in the Flyers’ lineup nearly 20 months ago will suit up for the Squires when they skate up against the Ripley Wolves on Friday night. Ex-juniors Eric Marsh, Curtis Helps, and Jack Hackett have all joined the Craig Prudhom-coached Squires for the 2021-22 campaign.

The senior squad hasn’t been on home ice since a first-round playoff loss to Lucknow on February 7, 2020.

The Squires were to have opened on the road in Lucknow last Saturday, but the game was postponed to Oct. 30 as both teams would have been short due to the league vaccination policy.