The Hawkesbury Hawks Junior ‘A’ hockey club has its roster set and the team is ready to hit the ice once the Ontario government allows play to begin.
“We’ve got our guys moved in and we’re on the ice four times a week and in the gym twice a week,” said Hawks Head Coach and General Manager Rick Dorval. “Everything is up in the air obviously with COVID, so you try to plan everything as if we’re going to move forward and be able to play.”
The Central Canada Hockey League is targeting October 1 to start the pre-season and is waiting for approval from provincial health authorities and the Provincial Sport Organization. Once the pre-season proposal is approved, the league will begin work on a similar plan for the commencement of the CCHL regular season. The Hawks and other teams in the league have to be ready to go whenever that approval is given.
“Behind the scenes, the ice rentals and things like that we are trying to have lined up for when we are provided the green light (to resume play),” Dorval said in an interview September 18. “But at this moment we have not been provided any direction from the government.”
While the league awaits approval for the season, teams are working on setting their rosters. The Hawks have been holding regular practices at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex and for the most part, the team’s line up of 25 players is set to start the season.
If and when the CCHL season starts, crowds will be limited, however the on-ice product will remain as exciting as ever. Team management is hoping that while the crowds will be smaller, fans will continue to follow the team through its website and television coverage. The team’s sponsors have also stepped up to the plate and continued their support of the team for 2020-21.
“We appreciate all of the support that we are getting in a small town – it is definitely appreciated,” Dorval commented. “We thank everyone that has supported the hockey club and allowed this team to be successful year in and year out.”