By Tristan Marks
Bad news for local hockey fans, the Peach Kings’ season has come to an end now that the Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJHL) has suspended all remaining 2019-20 games until further notice.
The organization cited decisions made by the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) and Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) to help prevent the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in a statement released last Thursday.
Peach Kings owner Simon Duong summed up the situation for the team in a single word: “disappointing.”
“It’s disappointing for for us; it’s unfortunate,” said Duong. “I thought we had a good enough team to contend for the Schmalz Cup again this year.”
He noted that this would also be an abrupt end to the junior careers of four Peach King players, who would be ineligible to play next year due to their age.
“I feel especially bad for the over-age players, this is such a disappointing way to end their junior careers,” said Duong.
Despite the situation, Duong was very grateful for all the support the team received during their season.
“We want to thank all of our fans, our volunteers, our sponsors and the community, on behalf of the Peach King coaching staff and players,” he said.
Tryouts for the 2020-21 Peach King team, which would normally take place in spring, have been moved to the Fall by order of the OHF.
Duong said the team still has big plans going into spring 2021 and the Peach King’s upcoming centennial anniversary.
“Our goal for next year is to get going in the springtime to attract as many local players as we can for our 99th year in 2021 and our 100th year in 2022,” he said.