Dec 16, 2020 | ALLIANCE Hockey | 1693 views
Modified Game Play an Early Gift
Some suggest that it was an early holiday gift; the opportunity to compete in what up to this point in the season could be considered the closest to traditional competition 7 ALLIANCE Hockey teams have experienced to date...in front of OHL and GOJHL Scouts no less.
The London Jr Knights U16 and U18 teams along with their Elgin Middlesex Chief counterparts played in a series of 5vs5 modified hockey games on December 13th. What may have seemed like a simple endeavour was the result of months of planning and tremendous efforts by a village of people.
"This season has been unpredictable to say the least. For months we have been looking at ways to provide teams with the opportunity to experience a form of competition but also ways to showcase those draft-eligible players," said ALLIANCE Hockey Executive Director Tony Martindale. "There have been many road blocks along the way but we were finally able to have all things align this past weekend in order to host some games where scouts could attend."
Schedules had to be tweaked numerous times with the most recent being on the Friday evening prior to the Sunday games as the MLHU announced movement (as of Dec. 14th) from the orange/restrict level into the red/control level under the COVID-19 Response Framework.
"Arriving at the point to where the teams were actually competing on the ice (outside of their usually cohort) was definitely a team effort by the Facilities, Volunteers, Teams, Scouts, etc. Volunteers across the ALLIANCE have had to work under these circumstances all season and our gratitude for everyone working together is something we can't really explain."
With the London and Komoka events completed, the focus now adjusts to Sarnia where the Lambton Jr Sting U16 and U18 teams and the Chatham-Kent Cylcones U16 team will face off in a 6-game round robin event at PASA on December 19, 2020. The games will once again be attended by pre-registered OHL Scouts.
Some of the particulars in planning games like these include submitting a written request to the OHF for approval to play, permission from local Public Health Units, approvals from Facilities, OHL and GOJHL involvement, team coordination, etc.
"Our goal is to get to the point where all of our teams have these types of opportunities. Unfortunately, we are always at the mercy of COVID related restrictions."
Let's hope 2021 brings many more opportunities.