The Manitoba Women’s Junior Hockey League has officially called off the 2020-21 season. Just days after the the province’s top male and female AAA leagues announced their early conclusion, the MWJHL followed suit, pulling the plug on a season that never quite got itself underway.
Although not officially providing an explanation for calling off the year, the COVID-19 pandemic had earlier caused the league to push back its starting date, before seeing the results of the virus shut down all hockey province-wide for the past four-plus months.
“The Manitoba Women’s Junior Hockey League is announcing the cancellation of the 2020-2021 season,” a statement from the MWJHL read. “If players who have paid their registration fees wish to have them returned, this will be done by cheque. Please let Linda Benson know to whom the cheque should be made out and the mailing address. Send this information to email@example.com. Tryout fees are not included in the refund. If any of you wish to have your fees applied to the 2021-2022 Season please let Linda know via email.”
After successfully hosting preseason skates and tryout sessions from Bell MTS Iceplex this past October, all came crashing down for the MWJHL as Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced the ‘short-term’ shut-down of minor hockey and recreational sports as the province shifted into Code Red. That change, however, proved not to be a short stint, as Code Red is still in effect, with rinks having just opened up for limited access this past week.
“Hopefully, if it is safe and health orders permit, Preseason Skate sessions for veterans and rookies will be arranged for mid-August,” the MWJHL’s statement continued. “Tryouts for next season will then be held on the second weekend of September as with previous seasons. More information will follow in the coming months. Registrations for the 2021-2022 season are now being accepted on this Website.”
With a focus on the 2021-22 campaign, the seven-team MWJHL now has its refund policy in place, and will shift its attention to the fall of 2021 for the resumption of league play. The Western Predators remain the league champions after defeating the Polar Ice in a best-of-five-turned-best-of-three series in March of 202 to conclude the 2019-20 MWJHL season.