PJHL announces tentative start date

The Delta Ice Hawks could return to the ice on Sept. 29.

On Tuesday morning, the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) announced the start date for its 55th season.

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The 2020/21 PJHL season will consist of a 44-game regular season schedule and is projected to commence Sept. 29. The schedule will consist of each team playing a single interlock game against the opposing conference as well as two games at the 2021 PJHL Winter Classic Showcase scheduled for Jan. 1 to 3 at Minoru Arena in Richmond.

Other regularly scheduled events include the annual Prospects Game and All Star Game in partnership with the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League. Venues and dates will be announced at a later date.

“Our board has been very diligent in their communications with their facilities,” said league commissioner Trevor Alto in a news release. “Both league and team return to play plans are in place and being monitored. With the increased opening of facilities, we are confident we can execute these plans and return to the ice safely.”

The expansion Chilliwack Jets have been approved and will begin play in the upcoming season.

The Jets will be led by general manager and head coach Clayton Robinson and will be aligned with the Harold Brittain Conference.

There will be a new overtime format in play this season.

All three B.C.-based Junior B hockey leagues have adopted an NHL-style overtime format that includes five minutes of three-on-three play. Should teams still be tied after the initial overtime period, a shootout will take place until a winner is declared.

The PJHL has established several task groups for the purpose of approaching current league issues and developing future plans for the league. These groups include a Return-to-Play group which is responsible for reviewing all return-to-play plans for member teams and facilities. All task groups consist of members of the league office and member team representatives.

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