Kamloops Storm season on ice as KIJHL hits pause

“The restrictions blanket the rest of the province, where a lot of us would feel there was a lot less growth in the virus or a lot less issues, “ Kamloops Storm general manager Matt Kolle told KTW.

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League was among the many leagues and sports organizations with representatives who were left confused by travel-related language in the provincial government orders released on Thursday.

On Friday, the KIJHL, after receiving clarification from viaSport, suspended all league play from Saturday to Dec. 7, as no inter-community travel for sports is permitted in B.C. until Dec. 8 at the earliest.

“The restrictions blanket the rest of the province, where a lot of us would feel there was a lot less growth in the virus or a lot less issues, “ Kamloops Storm general manager Matt Kolle said. “Let’s say it that way. In my mind, that seems a funny step to take.”

Kolle would like to see play resume on Dec. 8, allowing the Storm to finish Phase 1 with four games — two each against cohort partners North Okanagan and Chase — before the Christmas break.

“I’d be lying if I wasn’t sitting here with everybody else saying, ‘What are the real chances of restrictions coming off in two weeks?’ But we’ll see,” Kolle said.

The Storm’s GM wants to do everything in his power to forge ahead with game play.

“I’m a glass-half-full guy,” said Kolle, whose club enters the pause with a 2-0 record. “Let’s reschedule games. Let’s do what it takes. Let’s get our 30 games in.

“If things keep snowballing the way they are right now, I feel like we would be going after Christmas. It gets a little tough to make up games because of cohorts, but there is a major chunk of season to go and for the Kamloops Storm we’re hoping there is a good 20 to 30 game playoff there, as well.”

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