After a number of weeks of uncertainty, the Capital Region Junior Hockey League got itself successfully underway in Manitoba this past October. Following provincial guidelines, games were played without a hitch in the communities of Selkirk, Lundar, Arborg, St. Malo and North Winnipeg throughout the entire month. In all, 16 matchups were held, of which 15 were regular season games.
Then came the news of tighter restrictions following the announcement that the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region would be moving into ‘Code Red’ effective Monday, November 1. Proactively, many teams, leagues and arenas did not wait around until Monday to cease operation, but rather opt to ‘close shop’ early.
After initially toying with the idea of only halting games held within that Winnipeg Metropolitan Region, the CRJHL amended its decision following Hockey Manitoba’s recent ruling that teams/players residing within the specified region were not allowed to travel outside of that jurisdiction and play/practice. All CRJHL contests have since been put on hold until at least November 15.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic pushing the Winnipeg Metropolitan region into Code Red, Hockey Manitoba took the step today to ensure that hockey players, coaches and game officials do their part to reduce the risk and spread of the virus,” a statement from the CRJHL read.
“In order to do its part, the CRJHL is taking a pause in game play, and cancelling all games from November 2nd to November 15th,” the statement continued. “All affected games have been noted on the schedule. The League will re-evaluate the situation as it nears the 15th, and will ensure it remains compliant with all Public Health and Hockey Manitoba orders.”
Currently atop the CRJHL’s standings are the Selkirk Fishermen, who have gone a perfect 5-0-0 on the season. The team opened the 2020-21 season with a tight 3-2 victory over the St. Malo Warriors back on October 10, before going on to beat Arborg 2-1 in overtime a week later. A lopsided 6-0 win over North Winnipeg, before back-to-back two-goal victories over Lundar and Arborg before the pause.
Although tied for a league-low in games played with the Satellites (5), the Fishermen do have two players inside the top-three in league scoring. Josh Poponick is second with two goals and nine points in five games, while Travis Spratt is tied for third place with Tyler Earl – a rookie forward with Lundar. Earl’s seven goals pace the league, while teammate Dennon Sichewski’s five goals and 10 points places him first in league scoring. Lundar has played in six games this season and sits second with a 4-1-0 record.