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New COVID-19 restrictions ground Surrey Eagles’ All-Star Challenge

BC Hockey League team hopes to be able to hold event in future
Kieran O’Hearn was set to captain one team at the Surrey Eagles All-Star Challenge, which had to be cancelled last week. (Garrett James photo)

The Surrey Eagles’ All-Star Challenge was grounded last week, after new provincial COVID-19 restrictions were put in place by the provincial government.

The BC Hockey League team – which hasn’t played since early November due to a provincial health-order that suspended all indoor sports in the Lower Mainland – was set to host a skills competition and three-on-three mini tournament Friday, which would have been broadcast on BCHL TV.

However, before the event could hit the ice, new rules were put in place by the provincial government to stop the spread of COVID-19. The new restrictions brought all adult sports to a halt, and also stated that junior hockey players aged 18-20 were also prohibited from their respective sports, too.

With the majority of team members between 18 and 20 years old, the Eagles announced earlier in the day Friday that it would not go ahead, calling it “disappointing news” in a news release.

“We are obviously gutted by the news of how this affects us, but for now it isn’t our place to state what we think is fair,” said assistant general manager Charlie Black.

“We aimed to create an event that motivated and entertained all of us, from players and staff to fans and sponsors. Regardless of having to cancel, I’d say we achieved our mission. The excitement in our locker room as we tested out each event and went through all the steps of building our All-Star Challenge was unlike anything I had seen before.

“It also gave us the framework we need to run this event sometime in the future. The All-Star Challenge may not run this weekend, but it will run at some point.”

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