DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard
NORTH DURHAM/KAWARTHA: Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJHL) teams: Port Perry MoJacks, Uxbridge Bruins, and Little Britain Merchants are going on hiatus for at least the majority of this month.
On Tuesday, January 4th, citing the current “provincial mandate,” the PJHL announced they would pause the season from January 5th until January 27th.
“We are very hopeful we will be able to resume play soon after the 27th. Plans and schedules are being reviewed and amended as required, to ensure we are able to complete our season and compete for the Schmalz Cup,” a PJHL press release read.
“Our number one concern is the mental and physical health of our players, coaches, staff and fans.”
The league also stressed the importance of doing their part to help slow the transmission of COVID-19.
“As the largest Junior Hockey League in the world, the PJHL takes its responsibility very seriously, to ensure the safety of all participants, and we will continue to work with our governing bodies, local health units and facilities to provide the safest environment possible.”
The Port Perry MoJacks had not played a game since Thursday, December 30th, when they faced the Clarington Eagles.
“Although the MoJacks are disappointed to have another season interrupted by the pandemic, we understand the health and welfare of all players, staff, and fans [is] of the utmost importance during these unprecedented times,” read an emailed statement from MoJacks general manager Tom Parish. “The players most certainly feel discouraged, but they are committed to staying in shape and being prepared to hit the ice, in full stride, when permitted to do so safely. Our team had a rough start to the season, but we are optimistic our significantly improved play of late will continue and carry on into our remaining games and [into the] playoffs.”
On Twitter, the Uxbridge Bruins said they hoped this would be the last season pause they would “ever have to post” about, and they are “looking forward to resuming the [PJHL] season, and bringing the Schmalz Cup to Uxbridge, following the latest PJHL pause.”