Quesnel Kangaroos forward Justin Fulton (17) fires the puck on Stampeders goaltender Matt Brenner’s (37) during a contest at the West Fraser Centre in Quesnel last season. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Stamps, Central Interior Hockey League, cancel 2020/21 season

The team said it would like to thank the community, its fans, volunteers and sponsors

The Central Interior Hockey League has announced the cancellation of its senior men’s ‘AA’ hockey season.

The Williams Lake Stampeders hockey club released a statement citing the inability to have its fans safely in the stands as the deciding factor on whether the 2020/21 season would proceed.

Under current provincial health regulations, no spectators are allowed inside B.C. arenas until a reevaluation of the current COVID-19 situation takes place on Dec. 7.

“If we find the current situation changes in regard to spectator rules in a meaningful and long-term way we hope to return to the ice for exhibition games,” said Janna Gertzen, the Williams Lake Stampeders marketing and sponsorship director.

The team said it would like to thank the community, its fans, volunteers and sponsors for the opportunities they had given them, as well as fellow teams in the league, and wish them luck as they also go dark.

“A special thanks to all our players,” she said. “Without their past and future support and dedication we would not be able to host these great community events we all love.”

READ MORE: Big Lake, Stamps, team up for SD27 ticket giveaway

The Stampeders said they eagerly await the return of official league hockey in 2021.

“[We] will need the support of our community more than ever to ensure a successful start back for the league,” Gertzen said.

In the meantime, the CIHL and Stampeders’ executive are continuing to work toward a return to play in front of its valued communities and fans, she said.

The team is inviting the community to participate in its 50/50 raffle where $10,000 will be up for grabs.

“You can continue to support the team by purchasing a raffle ticket and helping the team offset the annual fixed costs of our non-profit group,” she said.

Tickets are available through the team’s Facebook page, by e-transfer and at Poppy Homes, Lake City Ford’s service department, Crosina Realty and The Water Factory.

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