The National Capital Junior Hockey League (the region’s junior ‘C’ loop) has proposed a 2020-21 season with non-contact play, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions.
In its November 2 announcement, the NCJHL stated it is “in the process of submitting a plan to HEO to allow NCJHL to play hockey again for this season.” HEO (Hockey Eastern Ontario) is the sports governing body in this region, operating as a branch of Hockey Canada.
The plan requires all clubs to commit to play that will feature no body contact, which is expected to result in “extremely fast hockey.”
“NCJHL is working with HEO to provide a safe environment for all to play in and for fans to watch from.”
Current COVID-19 restrictions set by the provincial government and enforced by local health authorities allow only limited hockey, currently with no games and no body contact. Teams are allowed modified scrimmages, with clubs in bubbles or paired. For example, Hawkesbury’s junior ‘A’ team is paired with the squad from Rockland for non-contact scrimmages.
The 10-team NCJHL’s closest teams, geographically, are the Vankleek Hill Cougars (last season’s East Division regular-season champion) and the North Dundas Rockets, based in Chesterville. The NCJHL was established in 1968, formerly known as the Eastern Ontario Junior C Hockey League.
Last year’s play was stopped in March, with playoffs underway, due to Hockey Canada orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic.