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SaskAlta Hockey League returning for 2020-21 season

The SaskAlta Senior Hockey League is returning for a 2020-21 season that will feature a shortened and modified schedule.

The league has separated teams into provincial divisions, and each team will only play against opponents in the same division.

League President Rod Boutin said because of the different COVID-19 guidelines between the provinces, the two divisions will play separate seasons.

“The Alberta side has to take 14 days off between games. What they’re allowed to do is on one weekend have a home and home series against an opponent. And then both teams have to take 14 days off before they can play again. Whereas Saskatchewan, they can have a home and home one weekend, but only take five days off before the next opponent,” said Boutin.

Because of the differences in guidelines, teams in Alberta will only play 10 games while the Saskatchewan division will play 16 games.

Boutin explained the league’s new format and how it is approaching playoffs, he added he is hopeful the public health guidelines ease up so the league can have inter-divisional play.

“Playoff formats have already been set. The Alberta side will play off and have an Alberta champion and the Saskatchewan side will playoff and have a Saskatchewan champion. And we’re hoping that by March restrictions will let up so that the Saskatchewan and Alberta champions can play off and we can have a league champion,” said Boutin.

While the schedule is set and the league has made modifications, Boutin said some teams, including the Maidstone Jets and the Neilburg Monarchs, are waiting to see how their respective entities feel about the approach.

“Some of the teams I’ll say are chomping at the bit and have already been practicing and want to get going and have the season. Other teams have been sitting back waiting to see what SHA (Saskatchewan Hockey Association) and Hockey Alberta are going to have for restrictions and what municipalities have for restrictions on the facilities.”

The Elk Point Elks host the Paradise Valley Jets to open up the season on Friday, November 6 at 8 p.m.

About Elliott Knopp

Elliott is a graduate from NAIT's Television Broadcast program. He has broadcast experience in football, basketball and hockey. He has spent nearly his entire life living in Edmonton, but has recently moved to Lloydminster for his career. He has an undying passion for CFL/NFL football, hot wings and Flaming Hot Cheetos. He loves playing fantasy football but has never won a championship.

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