Niagara IceDogs’ OHL games cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols

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Published December 17, 2021 at 8:54 pm

The Niagara IceDogs will start their holiday break early, as COVID-19 protocols have led to both of their games this weekend being postponed.

The Ontario Hockey League, which has had several teams pause competition due COVID-19 tranmission, made the announcement early on Friday evening. The IceDogs were scheduled to play an away game against the Sudbury Wolves on Friday, and were slated to host the North Bay Battalion at the Meridian Centre on Saturday (Dec. 18).

The OHL said both IceDogs games will be rescheduled. They are the fifth team in the 20-team OHL whose games have been cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols. The Erie Otters, Flint Firebirds, Kingston Frontenacs and Owen Sound Attack have also all had to pause team activities.

Sudbury was hoping to return to play this week after being idled since Nov. 28 due to COVID-19 tranmission among their team personnel. But their away game against the Barrie Colts on Thursday was cancelled before the decision was made regarding the IceDogs.

The OHL usually takes a week-plus break over Christmas. The IceDogs are not scheduled to play again until Dec. 31 against the Peterborough Petes.

Under general manager Joey Burke and head coach Billy Burke, the IceDogs are in a rebuilding year. They are in the OHL cellar with a .313 point percentage from a 7-16-1 record across 24 games.

The Meridian Centre has a seated capacity of 5,300 for hockey. Under the province’s reinstated 50-per-cent capacity limit for indoor settings, that would cap attendance at 2,650. Provincial guidelines also require fans to remain seated, and for arenas to close food and drink concessions.

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