Grizzlies return from COVID protocols

Cleve Dheensaw
about 7 hours ago

From being put on ice for five days to being back on the ice, Andrew Amousse was just happy to see his Victoria Grizzlies teammates again offline and in person in practice.

“I’ve been sitting in my room so I can’t wait to get to see everybody’s faces again,” said the assistant captain, before the Grizzlies’ session Monday at The Q Centre.

The Grizzlies returned to practice following a suspension of all hockey-related activities for five days as Island junior teams continue dealing with the game of COVID Protocol Whack-a-Mole.

The Cowichan Valley Capitals, also of the B.C. Hockey League, resumed activities Sunday following their five-day protocol lay-off. The Nanaimo Clippers of the BCHL are suspended from hockey-related activities until Thursday, which has forced the postponement of Wednesday’s game against Victoria. The Grizzlies had three previous games postponed due to its hiatus. The players know it’s a sign of the times, and two years into the pandemic, know how to take these setbacks in stride.

“The players and coaches kept in touch online and we were given workout routines and I did weights in my room,” said Amousse, headed next season to play Div. 1 at American International College, which last season won its conference to make the NCAA tournament.

The Grizzlies (14-14) are scheduled to play the Kings (10-15-2) in Powell River on Friday night. The Grizzlies are considered to have a potent roster, which makes their .500 record less than what was ­perhaps expected. It’s up to the ­leadership group of captain Ellis Rickwood and assistant ­captains Amousse, Isack Bandu and Michael Hoekstra to rally the club down the home stretch.

“That’s the reason we have the letters on our jerseys,” said Amousse. “It’s up to us to be the example and to lead.”