Following their annual general meeting, held virtually on Saturday, Jun. 12, the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) has announced its 2021 season will commence on Friday, Oct. 1 and conclude on Sunday, Feb. 20.
The season will see all 20 of the league’s teams compete over the course of a 42-game regular season which includes eight games against divisional opponents and two games each against teams in the opposing division within the same conference.
The league will continue to follow all guidance and protocols set out by the provincial government, ViaSport and BC Hockey.
“After a difficult season for our teams, staff and players, we’re very excited by the positive indications that we will be back on the ice under normal conditions this fall,” said Jeff Dubois, KIJHL commissioner. “Most of all, we are looking forward to welcoming fans back into our arenas and enjoying the in-game atmosphere that makes our league special.”
Playoffs are scheduled to begin Tuesday, Feb. 22 and 16 teams will battle it out for the Teck Cup Championship as well as the honour of representing the KIJHL at the 2022 Cyclone Cup held in Delta, B.C.
At their AGM, the league also approved several resolutions with the intent of enhancing league operations, such as creating a Letter of Intent allowing teams to formalize commitments to incoming recruits before the usual start of the upcoming Hockey Canada season on June 1.
Four new awards were also created: the Scholastic Player of the Year and Community Player of the Year honouring athletes for academic endeavours and community service off the ice, as well as the new Broadcaster of the Year and Volunteer of the Year awards.
The KIJHL Board of Governors also approved several recommendations put forward by Director of Health and Safety Cory Cameron. These include new measures to enhance concussion management and further utilize the PRIVIT injury management app.
They also announced a partnership with InStat, which all allow member teams access to its suite of coaching, scouting and player development tools.
The KIJIL also announced the continuation of its partnership with Gamesheet Inc. for the continued use of its online game sheet platform.
The Board of Governors approved the creation of a new Education Services department, to be led by Director of Education Tom McEvay, a retired high school principal from Port Alberni with a background in Junior A and Midget AAA teams.
Kamloops Storm governor Matt Kolle and Princeton Posse Governor Mark McNaughton were chosen to serve two-year terms representing the Doug Birks and Bill Ohlhausen divisions on the KIJHL Board of Directors.
100 Mile House Wranglers president Tom Bachynski and North Okanagan Knights owner Dean Keller both have left the Executive Committee, following the completion of their terms.
“On behalf of our league office and all our member teams, I’d like to thank Tom and Dean for their years of service to the KIJHL,” Dubois said. “Tom, in his role as Chairman, provided outstanding leadership in steering the growth and direction of our league, and we’re very appreciative to him and Dean for their contributions and service.”