The Abbotsford Pilots will be returning to the ice later this month and have been placed in a cohort group with the Chilliwack Jets and the Mission City Outlaws.
However, the date and location for the Pilots first game has not yet been determined.
League games get going today (Thursday, Oct. 15), with action between Grandview Steelers and Richmond Sockeyes, although teams have the ability to delay their season start until Nov. 1, “should they choose or need more time to plan with their facility,” according to a statement posted to pjhl.net.
Mission and Chilliwack are scheduled to open play on Saturday in Mission, with the teams then squaring off in Chillwack on Sunday. The teams are also scheduled to meet on Oct. 24 in Mission, Oct. 25 in Chilliwack and Oct. 31 in Mission.
Teams will only be allowed to play games against the other teams within their cohort for the first half of the season. In December, the league will break for the required 14-day quarantine period, then the cohorts will be shuffled for the remainder of the season.
At this time, fans are not permitted to attend PJHL games due to current COVID-19 building restrictions.
The Abbotsford Summit Centre also appears to be hosting a cohort group involving the White Rock Whalers, Ridge Meadows Flames and Aldergrove Kodiaks.
White Rock plays Ridge Meadows at the ASC on Sunday. Aldergrove then plays Ridge Meadows on Oct. 25. According to the scheduled it appears that the ASC will be the de facto home rink for Ridge Meadows.
League commissioner Trevor Alto said the PJHL takes great pride in its return-to-play plan. “It has been a collaborated effort involving our governing bodies, municipalities, facilities, other user groups, and our players and staff,” Alto said in the website post.
The PJHL’s Cohort #1 will involve Grandview Steelers, Port Moody Panthers and Richmond Sockeyes, Cohort #2 includes Abbotsford Pilots, Chilliwack Jets and Mission City Outlaws, and Cohort #3 will be Delta Ice Hawks, Langley Trappers and North Vancouver Wolf Pack.
Schedules for each cohort will be posted on www.pjhl.net as they become available.
So far, no Surrey Knights games are scheduled.
In an exhibition game played Sunday (Oct. 11) at Langley Sportsplex, the Whalers beat the Knights 6-1.
“Our teams have put in a lot of work getting us to this point, and we are very excited that we are able to get the season underway,” Alto added.
“We understand that in returning to regular season play, we have a big responsibility of ensuring every one of our games is operated in a manner in line with our return-to-play protocol. We are very excited to get the 2020-21 season underway and look forward to giving our athletes the best development experience possible.”
With files from, Tom Zillich/Surrey Now-Leader