Port Alberni, B.C. – The Alberni Valley Bulldogs and the BC Hockey League announced today that it is planning to start the 2020-2021 regular season on Dec. 1, pending approval from the Provincial Health Office (PHO).
“Since the BCHL season was cancelled in March, our league office and the return to play task force have worked non-stop to reach the point where we are aligned in the belief that starting on Dec. 1 gives our league the best chance of having an uninterrupted season”, said Bulldogs president David Michaud
The BCHL plans on releasing a full schedule with a December start date at a later date. The pushback to Dec. 1 aligns with the NHL’s plan to start their 2020-21 season.
“For the Bulldogs to have any chance to operate successfully, we need to have fans in the Multiplex. Without fans, our corporate dollars dry up, and the business model doesn’t work. We’re anxious for the day when we can re-open our doors for our home opener and welcome our amazing fans back into the Dawg Pound.”
The Bulldogs will be holding an extended training camp for their players between September to November. Once the viaSport BC’s Return to Play Model moves into Phase 3, the Bulldogs will begin regional exhibition play against their Island Division rivals. More details on the exhibition format will be released in the coming weeks.
“Players will report to Port Alberni and be on the ice for Sept. 14. The coaching staff will have the time and opportunity to work closely with the players on different facets of our game, both on and off the ice. This is a big season for us and we want to use this time to make our club better.”
The extended training camps will strictly follow the COVID-19 guidelines set out by viaSport BC.
The Bulldogs are also working closely with city staff making sure the Multiplex is ready to welcome fans back into the building safely.
Once exhibition competition begins, it will be streamed live on HockeyTV and live-scored on the BCHL website.