The association was forced to indefinitely suspend the already disrupted season when Ontario’s lockdown was declared in late December. Players had since been forced to wait for restrictions to ease, which was further delayed when a stay-at-home order and state of emergency declaration were announced in January.
Prior to the lockdown, the association had divided the season into two sessions. The first ran from October to December, but the second would remain on hold until the province permitted a return to play.
EPRMHA President Jessica Lalonde said the first session had been successful. “Thanks to all my executive members and all my volunteers for working together because without them it would not have been possible for all our kids to play hockey,” she said. “No outbreaks and no problems.”
Lalonde said she was disappointed about the shutdown, but hoped for a return to the ice as soon as possible in the primary areas of Hawkesbury and Vankleek Hill. “We are in a waiting position until we have more information on what will be happening,” she said. “Thanks to both municipalities for being patient and understanding with me. They are anxious to know what we will be doing but they understand that I am waiting for crucial information.”
The return to play would depend on what level the Eastern Ontario Health Unit would return to on the province’s colour-coded COVID-19 chart once the lockdown ended. A red “restrict” level would create additional restrictions for players.