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Tournament arranged for BCHL’s Island teams

Cleve Dheensaw / Times Colonist
AUGUST 13, 2020 06:00 AM

Sports leagues and teams have to be creative and flexible in this time, and the Island Division teams in the B.C. Hockey League are proving just that.

The Island Cup will feature the Victoria Grizzlies, Cowichan Valley Capitals, Nanaimo Clippers, Alberni Valley Bulldogs and Powell River Kings in a round-robin beginning Oct. 2.

Each club will play 12 round-robin games. The semifinals and finals will be held at the Q Centre in Colwood on dates to be announced.

The tournament will adhere to current B.C. guidelines and a maximum of 50 people — including players, coaches and scorekeepers — will be in the rinks for the games.

“This is all dependent on the health authorities,” said Grizzlies GM and head coach Craig Didmon. “If it can’t happen, then we will continue practising and training until the start of the regular season.”

The BCHL regular season is targeted to begin Dec. 1. The Grizzlies will open training camp on Sept. 15 with Didmon expecting to have 30 players on hand.

Current B.C. guidelines allow for training in small groups, so teams in various sports have been breaking up practice sessions into allowable units and staggering ice, field or court times.

“That’s just the way it is and you have to accept it because this is an unusual time,” said Didmon. “The BCHL has done a good job of managing its way through this situation.”

The league is a leading producer of hockey talent for U.S. collegiate NCAA Div. 1 teams.