Based on its primary mission, which is to develop young hockey players, the Quebec Midget AAA Hockey League has authorized its teams to organize preparatory games behind closed doors with other teams from its territory who come from other circuits.
The epidemiological situation has forced the government to raise alert levels throughout the province in the past few days. Since travel is not recommended in the orange and red zones, it became impossible for most clubs to compete.
These organizations will therefore be able to come to an agreement with teams from the Junior AAA League and the college circuit in order to play matches that respect the rules of phase 5 of the Hockey Quebec recovery plan. Checking remains prohibited and games last 30 minutes with reduced numbers (10 players + 1 goalkeeper per team).
“We're all going to help each other. They [the junior AAA and the RSÉQ] have the same problem as we do now. We give ourselves a week to build a calendar. For our teams evolving on the same territory, they will be able to play among themselves.
“In addition, we decided to play behind closed doors to avoid management and to help [in the fight against the epidemic]. In addition, there have been cases in the league, ”mentioned the president of the midget AAA circuit, Yanick Lévesque, during a telephone interview with Le Journal .
A few interleague games involving midget AAA and college clubs will also be on the menu over the next weekend. The Blizzard of Séminaire Saint-François will face the Titans of Limoilou division 2 twice while the Vikings of Saint-Eustache will face off against the Nordiques of Lionel-Groulx division 1.
In Magog, Les Cantonniers head coach Félix Potvin has scheduled a series of intra-team games next week. He wonders the merits of duels between teenagers from midget AAA and young adults from junior AAA.
“I have a hard time putting young people on the ice who have just turned 15 against 20-year-old guys who are not in the same place in their careers or going against lower caliber. We're not closing the door, but we'll see after next week, ”replied the former NHL goalie.
His counterpart from the Chevaliers de Lévis, Éric Bélanger, for his part intends to take advantage of this temporary option. “We kept our appetites alive last year and we can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's heavy [as a situation] and we are looking to play games against college and junior AAA. ”
Scenarios on the table
The start of the regular season scheduled for mid-October has at the same time been postponed since Hockey Quebec will not be able to switch to phase 6 before November in the best scenario.
“We have several scenarios on our work table that we have done and redone. We tore the sheet from the beginning of September and October. We have scenarios for November, December or January. We will adjust and each of our teams has guaranteed the possibility of continuing the season until mid-May if necessary, ”explained Yanick Lévesque.
Highlight: the Élites de Jonquière will be able to resume their activities on ice on October 5 after an outbreak of outbreaks that led to five positive cases.