The Abbotsford Pilots, who have only played two games in the 2020-21 PJHL season, may be returning to action next month. (File photo)

The Abbotsford Pilots, who have only played two games in the 2020-21 PJHL season, may be returning to action next month. (File photo)

Abbotsford Pilots still waiting on return to play

Youth sports groups optimistic that plan could be in place at the end of February

The Abbotsford Pilots and the Pacific Junior Hockey League’s date to return to the ice remains uncertain.

The PJHL commissioner Trevor Alto released a statement on Friday (Feb. 5) stating that the planned continuation of league action has again been delayed due to the extension of public health order restrictions by the Provincial Health Office.

The league initially returned to action in late-September and were placed in smaller regional cohorts. That lasted until Nov. 8 when more strict restrictions were put in place.

The Pilots managed to play two regular season games in that team, with other teams in the league playing more.

The PJHL regular season usually runs from September to February, with the playoffs taking place until mid-to-late March.

Alto said he and the league are waiting on restrictions to be lifted, which may occur at the end of the month. Dr. Bonnie Henry did state on Friday that she hopes to see sport return by that time period.

“We have various scenarios in place for a safe Return to Play, however, all scenarios do require restrictions to be lifted by the PHO,” he stated. “The PJHL is in full support of the PHO and all collaborating partners involved in helping with our Return to Play. We will continue to plan to provide our players with a competitive game play environment once restrictions are lifted. I thank all our players and teams for their patience and support of each other during this process.”

PJHL teams are allowed to continue to practice at this time, but must do socially distanced drills and contact is not permitted. Youth sports, which is what the PJHL falls under, have been under Phase 2 restrictions since early-December.

RELATED: Abbotsford Pilots PJHL season postponed due to COVID-19

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