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Fort Macleod rec league cancels rest of season

The final buzzer has sounded on the Fort Macleod Rec Hockey League’s inaugural season.

League officials decided last week to cancel the rest of the season and refund fees to the players.

“Everyone had a good time while it lasted,” organizer Rob Luther said.

Play came to a halt in December after the province banned hockey and other indoor sports in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The ban was originally  in place until at least Jan. 21, but last week it was extended indefinitely.

League officials decided to cancel the season, rather than keep postponing play for an indefinite period.

“We decided to start refunding money to players,” Luther said.

The idea of a Fort Macleod rec league has been proposed before, but teams were content to play their own loosely-organized exhibition schedules.

This year, when new rules and restrictions were put in place at arenas to stop the spread of COVID-19, the idea of a Fort Macleod league resurfaced.

Adult hockey players from Fort Macleod took Luther up on his idea to form a local league, with six teams forming.

One goalie and 12 players were assigned to each team, which were organized to provide competitive balance.

Games were scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Registration was $250 per player.

Teams were named the Rams, Colts, Knights, Tropics, Snipers and Kraken.

The Colts were Josh Van Herk, Andre Mans, Ben Craig, Jayce Van Driesten, William Van Huigenbos, Jaydon Sharratt, Jake Roelofsen, Eric Arnoldussen, John Haluck, Avery Van Driesten, Justin Van Herk, Brady Welsh and Dustin Grisnich.

Knights players were Ryan Doyle, Dan McDougall, Marvin Van Den Hoek, Boof Roelofsen, Johnny Vanee, Eric Boot, Henry Roelofsen, TJ Larson, Mike Davis, Jason Vanee, Joel Hoglund, Kaede Norlin and Loren Feyter.

The Kraken were Ralph Boot, Jeff Van Hierden, Jeff Wolff, Craig DeMaere, Gary Atkins, Will Walde, Todd Baker, Davin Vanee, Cory Archibald, Riley Vanee, DJ McDougall, Cole Archibald and Aaron Poytress.

The Rams were Ryan Rasmussen, Brendan Van Hierden, Nick Beer, Wilco Vanee, Ricky Sharma, Luke Davis, Brayden Van Driesten, Trent Ducharme, Dusty Monical, Dave Van Hierden, Turner Sharp, Brad Needham and Lyndon Van Buuren.

The Snipers were Kieran Nielson, Nathan Beusekom, Bruce Kostelansky, Dan Neels, Bruce Van Driesten, Willard Mans, Jason De Kok, Jordy Welsh, Greg Burrows, Kevin De Kok, Rob Luther, Steven Vandervalk and Jace Norlin.

The Tropics were Justin Zoeteman, Bill Pas, Jacey Beusekom, Johnny Gullker, Eric Hardy, Brian Vandervalk, Barent Goodrich, Wes Stockton, Chad Gray, Hunter Curran, Jason Stockton, Ben Paskal and Trevor Curran.

The teams played six to seven games before the season was put on hold in December.

“A positive note is team captains kept a tight ship for rules to follow regarding COVID and not a single case came from our league,” Luther said.

The plan at present is to reorganize the league next fall.

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