A COVID-19 scare forced the postponement of three Newfoundland and Labrador Under-18 Major Hockey League games over the weekend.
The Western Kings were on a bus and heading towards St. John’s for a trio of games against the East Coast Blizzard Friday and Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon at the Ken Williams Southern Shore Arena.
Kings’ franchise owner, Jason Oake, received a phone call Friday afternoon notifying him the team’s manager, an employee with the Town of Deer Lake, may have had exposure to COVID-19.
Deer Lake has seen rising numbers of COVID-19 cases of late.
“As soon as we found out there was a potential for exposure,” said Oake, who wasn’t travelling with the team, “we contacted the bus driver and asked him to pull over. The bus was near Whitbourne at the time.
“Safety was our No. 1 priority, and we took quick action. We notified Hockey NL, our league president, spoke with health officials.
“We contacted parents to advise them of the situation, and we’ve asked everyone to quarantine until further notice.”
The Western team manager, Oake said, was expected to be tested for COVID-19 Sunday evening.
There were three U18 games played over the weekend at the Danny Cleary Community Centre in Harbour Grace.
Sunday, the Central Impact avoided a sweep by the homestanding Tri-Pen Osprey with a 4-3 shootout win.
Saturday, Tri-Pen got three goals from Christian Reardon in a 7-3 decision over the Impact, and Friday night, Reardon scored twice as Tri-Pen registered a 4-3 victory over Central.
Robin Short is The Telegram's Sports Editor