SIJHL Targets November 14 Start Date

The Superior International Junior Hockey League is targeting a November 14, 2020 start date. The league made the announcement yesterday.

“We’ve been actively monitoring the developments in our region and with the US / Canadian border and working closely with authorities in amateur hockey and public health,” said SIJHL Commissioner Darrin Nicholas.  “On the Canadian side, we are seeing positive indications as our region has now entered Phase III of reopening.  However, the restrictions that remain in place are clearly a barrier to a traditional start time to our season.”

Nicholas continued: “The safety of our communities, fans, players and team staff is of paramount importance.  Beyond that, we’d like to have our fans both north and south of the border experience the SIJHL brand of hockey they’ve come to expect and all indications are that a mid-November puck drop gives us the best chance for this to be achieved.”

Of note, the SIJHL has two United States based teams. The Thief River Falls Norskies and the Wisconsin Lumberjacks.

Sources are indicating that the SIJHL is preparing to allow both teams to go dark and take the 2020-2021 season off.

Other sources in the United States are reporting that Thief River and the Lumberjacks have already informed the SIJHL they do not plan on playing this season.

The border to Canada is expected to remain closed until January 2021 at the earliest and United States based teams are not expected to be able to travel to Canada until the border is opened.

Look for similar announcements of delayed starts to come from the remaining Junior A and B leagues in Ontario in the coming days.

Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser