Oceanside Generals defenceman Brandon Hannibal, right, is disappointed the VIJHL season is over. (PQB News file photo)

Oceanside Generals defenceman Brandon Hannibal, right, is disappointed the VIJHL season is over. (PQB News file photo)

Graduating player feels ‘robbed’ with ending of VIJHL season

League board votes unanimously to conclude play due to COVID-19 concerns

Brandon Hannibal hoped to stretch his final season with the Oceanside Generals a little longer.

But it ended sooner than expected when the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League on March 9 delivered the bad news that the 2020-21 season is officially over.

Hannibal, one of the Generals toughest blue-liners, found it hard to believe his junior hockey career is done.

“It would have been nice to play for a league championship,” said Hannibal. “We had that chance last season and it was cancelled due to COVID-19. I was hoping it would happen this season. I feel robbed. This is my last year.”

The last league game Hannibal played with the Generals was in November of 2020. All the games were halted after that due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.

League president Simon Morgan said based on a review of the recent the provincial health orders, the board unanimously decided to bring the season to a conclusion

“The current public health authority discussions show it is unlikely there will be any changes in their current direction from where we are today,” Simon Morgan stated in his post to the league website.

“And with the added pressures from facilities comparing the teams’ need for ice usage against the need for the removal of the ice for other sport- or health-related events, it seemed that this is the time to make this decision. Each team will determine their specific end date for their practice times with their players.”

Hannibal said the cancellation of the season has left a void that he now must fill.

“I looking at some hockey prospects but for now I will be focusing more on work and preparing to go to school,” said Hannibal. “I hope to play more golf as well.”

READ MORE: Hockey player from Vancouver Island scores first NHL goal as part of a hat trick

The other graduating Generals this year include forwards Dawson Heathcote, Aidan Sutherland, Garett Gilbertson, Jacob Thomas and defenceman Aleko Karamanis.

The VIJHL played games in October and November, each team getting between 11 and 13 contests before the season went on hold on Nov. 21.

The pause on league play was extended again in December, January and February, and BC Hockey announced the cancellation of the 2021 Cyclone Taylor Cup — the Junior B provincial championship — in early January.

B.C.’s other Junior B leagues have also called it quits on 2020-21. The Pacific Junior Hockey League, which operates on the Lower Mainland, cancelled the rest of its season last Tuesday and the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League did so in early February.

Morgan expressed his thanks to coaches, players, volunteers and team executives for their support and use of safe practice during games and practices, to fans for their patience, and to BC Hockey for its support in navigating temporary changes to rules and regulations.

The focus will now turn toward the 2021-22 season.

“We look forward to playing games again in the future and it is starting to look very positive that this will occur in late summer in time for this upcoming season,” Morgan wrote.

“The VIJHL board of governors is already starting to work on the seeds of next season.”

— with files from Black Press

ParksvilleVIJHL

Just Posted

Imogene Lim, a Vancouver Island University anthropology professor, has received a Province of B.C. Medal of Good Citizenship. (Black Press file)
VIU anthropology professor receives B.C. Good Citizenship medal

Imogene Lim’s work includes advocacy for establishing Chinese heritage sites

Kit Thornton, chief aquarist at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, plays with Wanda, the female Giant Pacific octopus currently residing at the centre. The centre will release Wanda back into the wild next month. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
An octopus named Wanda will soon say goodbye to Sidney

Wanda’s personality is ‘complete opposite’ of previous octopus named after Dr. Bonnie Henry

The Town of Lake Cowichan wants to get more people out of their cars. That should be the goal of all of the transportation plans currently under review in the Cowichan Valley. (Gazette file)
Editorial: Time to dream up better transportation options

Vancouver Island needs to ask ‘how are we going to get there from here?’

Saanich Fire Department on the scene after a car crashed into the Walmart in Uptown. (Photo courtesy Dan Wood)
PHOTOS: Saanich firefighters free trapped workers at Uptown Walmart

Incident reported as explosion after driver rammed through wall

The inside of the Campbell River Community Centre gymnasium has been marked off in order to facilitate the public flowing through the clinic as they receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell river Mirror
Leftover vaccines go into arms, not down the drain: Island Health

Immunization plan comes with built-in options for any unused vaccines at the end of the day

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man suspected of being involved in a stabbing. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to identify stabbing suspect who wielded rusty knife

Stabbing followed argument between two men at Port Place Shopping Centre April 1

Saanich police are investigating after a small dog was mauled and their was owner bitten in Mount Douglas Park by a large, off-leash dog April 6. (Photo via the Saanich Police Department)
UPDATED: Pup put down after being mauled by large, off-leash dog in Saanich park

Owner turned themself in after incident at Mount Doug Park

Don Bonner, RDN board director, left, Tyler Brown, RDN board chairperson, and Sean De Pol, RDN director of water and wastewater services, at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre April 6. (Shawn Wagar photo)
Nanaimo’s $82-million pollution control centre upgrade now complete

Wastewater treatment enhanced at RDN’s Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre

The CRD is working on a solid waste management plan to reduce the amount of material sent to Hartland Landfill. (Black Press Media file photo)
No time to waste: Greater Victoria closes in on plan for garbage

CRD board to consider final draft solid waste management plan in May

Ryan Rasmussen goes on a training run on Quadra Island. Photo supplied.
Quadra Island man to run 160 km to raise funds for alternative cancer care

‘I feel like I need to be in pain to raise the money… I can’t do something that’s easy’ — Ryan Rasmussen

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Most Read