NWJHL regular season starts November 13

In a year full of more questions then there are answers, the NWJHL finally has an answer to when its 2020-21 regular season will start. Regular season games begin November 13, with teams split up into two-team cohorts, playing four games against the team in their cohort. 

"We'll start our regular season games November 13, a four-game series with Fort St. John. We're trying to get some ice time booked, and looking forward to getting some games going," said Dawson Creek Junior Canucks President Rob Huttema. "We're very excited, it’s been a long time coming."

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A league representative has not yet responded to a request for comment, but a post on the NWJHL's website says the season will begin November 13, with the Huskies and Jr. Canucks playing four games against each other. The North Peace Navigators will also play four games against the County of Grande Prairie Kings, with the Sexsmith Vipers playing four games against the Fairview Flyers. 

The four games between the Huskies and Canucks have yet to be scheduled, but Huskies GM Jeremy Clothier said the teams will have two weeks to  get the games in. 

Following these four-game series, the league says it will take a 14-day break, with teams then beginning another four-game series against a different team. 

Currently, the Huskies and Canucks are not able to play teams from a different province or cross the border, per viaSport's Phase 3 Return to Sport restrictions. It's unclear what the B.C. teams will do if they can't cross the border at the time, but team representatives are optimistic something will work out and they are glad to be playing hockey. 

"The first series should be done by December 1, and we're just waiting for the OK to cross the border," Huttema said. 

When asked what his team will do if cross-border isn't permitted by that time or anytime in the forseeable future, Huttema said, "We hope we can play in Alberta, but all we can do is wait until we hear from (viaSport and BC Hockey) and take it one day at a time."

The Canucks and Huskies are playing two exhibition games this weekend, at the Memorial Arena in Dawson Creek on October 30, and at the Pomeroy Sport Centre in Fort St. John on October 31. Both games start at 8 p.m., and spectators won't be allowed at the games. 

The Huskies won the first exhibition game between the teams by a score of 10-0 on October 16. 

Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca

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