The Vancouver Giants are back playing today, after they and several other teams were cleared to play again after seeing recent games derailed by COVID-19.
The Giants had three games postponed earlier this month and had to pause all team activities due to multiple players or staff being on the Western Hockey League’s COVID protocol list. The players and staff were either showing symptoms or had tested positive for COVID-19.
That put a halt to all team activities, including on-ice practices.
The Jan. 7, 8, and 9 games, both home and away, were all rescheduled.
But the team is now resuming play, and the Giants will play the Prince George Cougars in back-to-back home games at the Langley Events Centre on Friday, Jan. 14 and Saturday, Jan. 15.
Friday night’s matchup will be televised nationally on TSN, and the Giants will be wearing their BCLC Community Heroes jerseys in support of farmers and food producers, and their efforts during the pandemic.
This weekend’s games also marks the return of team captain Justin Sourdif, goaltender Jesper Vikman, and coaches Michael Dyck and Mike Burnstein, who were away at the World Juniors.
The Calgary Hitmen, Kamloops Blazers, Victoria Royals, and the Cougars had all also seen games rescheduled over the last few weeks as COVID upended the league’s schedule.
In total, the WHL has announced 14 regular season games have been rescheduled.
As of Thursday, all 22 WHL clubs were eligible to again resume play.
To reduce exposure and risk, the WHL requires all its roster players, hockey operations staff, and other team and even league office workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Omicron variant currently causing a huge spike in COVID cases across Canada is better able to evade the immunity from existing vaccines.
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