The Manitoba U-18 AAA Hockey League has announced that it will run with just 12 teams for the 2021-22 season. The news comes following the not-so-shocking announcement from the Central Plains Capitals that the team will be taking a leave of absence for the full season on play.
Citing regret, the Capitals shared a series of Tweets related to the news over the past few days.
“We are extremely disappointed to announce that we will not be playing in the 2021-22 season,” the Capitals wrote. “We wish the league all the best and to our players who will be playing elsewhere this year, good luck.”
With all other U-18 AAA clubs have participated in at least one preseason exhibition game over the past week, the writing was seemingly on the wall for Central Plains, which hadn’t even suited up in action yet this fall.
“We would like to thank those who have reached out since our announcement on Monday,” the Capitals wrote. “Your support was appreciated. This was an incredibly hard decision and we hope there are changes made to positively affect Central Plains down the road.”
All games involving the Capitals have since been removed from the Manitoba U-18 AAA website and the schedule has been updated to feature a newly-modified 44-game regular season schedule.
“For this year we will cheer on the U-18 AAA female Central Plains Capitals and the U-15 AAA Central Plains Capitals and work to rebuild our other programs in hopes of icing a competitive team next season,” the U-18 team added. “Good luck to our Caps players and our Caps alumni.”
The 2021-22 regular season schedule is set to begin this Friday, September 24 with three contests. The full league schedule can be found here.