AJHL Pauses Regular Season, Oil Barons Highlight Team Measures Against COVID-19

The Alberta Junior Hockey League is pausing the 2020/21 regular season.

The Board of Governors announced the stop in play late Wednesday night due to the new measures brought in by the provincial government.

Right now, at least one member of the Calgary Canucks, Okotoks Oilers, Drumheller Dragons, and Canmore Eagles have tested positive for the virus.

Talks will restart on December 19 to determine how the rest of the season will unfold.

Fort McMurray Oil Barons COVID-19 Measures

As the season pauses, the Fort McMurray currently find themselves atop of the standings after winning their first four games.

The first two were won at the newly named Centerfire Place, while the MOB traveled to Lloydminster to pick up their third and fourth wins against the Bobcats.

COVID-19 has been top of mind for the team ever since the AJHL launched a development season at the end of August.

“These kids have been here for three months and we’ve had good success so far, but you got to be staying diligent every day and we’re trying to do that,” said Gord Thibodeau, Head Coach and General Manager.

Measures have been put in place, both at home and on the road, to ensure everyone’s potential of being exposed to the virus is limited.

This includes sanitizing all surfaces, making sure physical distancing is practiced while off the ice, and having everyone focus on a routine that includes hockey, staying home, and only leaving for essentials.

“We’re taking temperatures every day… if a kid has a cold, right away he’s isolated and has to get tested,” added Thibodeau.

The team’s rules are much stricter on the road.

Thibodeau says the team can travel between the arena and hotel.

“It’s not that much different, we don’t allow them a lot of freedom on the road anyway.”

Moving forward, players will most likely spend most of their time at home.

Due to the new provincial measures, the MOB are also not able to practice over the next three weeks.

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