The Lloydminster Classic Oilfield Bandits and the rest of the North Eastern Junior Hockey league are gearing up for a quick turnaround to start the season.
On Monday, the Bandits released their schedule for the 2020-21 season on social media with their first game of the season coming up this weekend.
Earlier this year, the NEJHL came to an agreement that would postpone the season for one month to see how each team’s respective cities responded to COVID-19.
With each city seemingly at low-risk of transmission, the league will move forward with a schedule that will see each team enter a 14-day self-isolation period after each series.
Classic Oilfield Bandits Head Coach Jason Ross said as the season approaches, every individual in the organization is growing more excited to get back into action.
“Everyone was excited from management down to the players. The season ended a little short in the playoffs last year, so we’ve got 17 returning vets who are eager to get back at it and hopefully get back into playoffs this year. It’ll be a quick transition with our 12-game season to get there.”
Last year, the season was cancelled when COVID-19 first became prevalent in the prairies.
The only games that weren’t played out by the league were the playoff finals, leaving the league without a 2019-2020 champion.
The teams will face complications with the new schedule created to accommodate public health guidelines.
“We have an odd number of teams, so every week of play there is a team that has to take a bye week. So there’s the 14 days off, and then there’s a bye week, and then the 14 days off when the other teams play again. That means there is a five-week period where one team won’t have any competition.”
The Bandits open up the season at home against the Killam Wheat Kings this Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Seating capacity for these games has been limited to 150 people, and tickets to the game can be purchased through the Bandits website or Eventbrite.