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Mooseheads, Eagles, Islanders cleared to play games against each other

Felix Lafrance of the Cape Breton Eagles and Elliot Desnoyers of the Halifax Mooseheads track the play during Saturday's QMJHL game at Centre 200 in Sydney. (CONTRIBUTED/MIKE SULLIVAN)
Felix Lafrance of the Cape Breton Eagles, left, and Elliot Desnoyers of the Halifax Mooseheads track the play during a 2020 QMJHL game at Centre 200 in Sydney. (CONTRIBUTED/MIKE SULLIVAN)

Major junior hockey will return in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island this weekend but with no fans in the rinks.
Health and safety officials in those provinces agreed to let the Halifax Mooseheads, Cape Breton Eagles and Charlottetown Islanders resume their season so long as they abide by the current COVID-19 restrictions in place. 
The three QMJHL teams in New Brunswick - Moncton Wildcats, Bathurst Titan and Saint John Sea Dogs - have not yet been cleared to return because of the higher case count in that province. As of Monday evening, there were 348 active cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick.  
The Mooseheads, Eagles and Islanders will continue to play only each other until at least Feb. 8 when the situation will be revisited based on COVID-19 circumstances at that time.
"The current situation is clearly not ideal, but it is extremely important for the development of our players, along with their health and well being, that they return to the ice to play the game they love," Mooseheads president Brian Urquhart said in a news realize. "We are excited to be able to provide them with that opportunity.
"We realize that being able to cheer on the Mooseheads is very important to many people in our community. It’s very difficult for us not to be able to share in that excitement with our fans for these next two home games that fall under the restrictions up until at least February 8th. The last 10 months have been absolutely devastating for our business, but we are looking forward to when we can all be together again at Scotiabank Centre."
The Eagles host the Islanders on Friday night, followed by a meeting with the Mooseheads at Centre 200 the next afternoon. The Mooseheads' first game at the Scotiabank Centre will be on Sunday afternoon against the Islanders.
"While this is certainly not something we hoped for as an organization, it was the only way we would be able to resume play in the short term," Eagles president Gerard Shaw said in a news release. "We are very optimistic that this will only be for limited games and we will be back to playing in front of our loyal fans soon.”


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