COVID-19 concerns pause Sarnia Sting season

Sarnia Sting bench during a game against the London Knights. 29 December 2019. (Photo by Metcalfe Photography)

The Sarnia Sting won’t be playing for the foreseeable future following the Canadian Hockey League’s decision to pause play in the OHL, WHL, and QMJHL due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team was scheduled to host the Owen Sound Attack on Friday, and had six games remaining overall.

They have been officially eliminated from the playoffs as they trail eighth-place Erie by 13 points.

At the suspension of play, Sean Josling led the team in scoring with 78 points. Jacob Perreault, who is eligible for the 2020 NHL draft, put up a team-high 39 goals.

The team says tickets for any remaining regular season games will be honoured for the rescheduled dates.

The Mainstreet Credit Union Sarnia Sting Box Office will be closed until further notice. Those looking to renew 2020-21 Sting season tickets to be eligible for the annual renewal sweepstakes can do so upon re-opening. Deadlines (including early bird) will be adjusted to accommodate the interruption.

Ontario Hockey League Commissioner David Branch issued the following statement.

“Following consultation with medical professionals, the National Hockey League, Canadian Hockey League, Hockey Canada, the CHL Board of Directors as well as the OHL Board of Governors, it was determined that all hockey activity in the OHL be paused until further notice as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the best interest of the health of our players, member team staff, billets, on and off-ice officials, our great fans as well as the general public, we deemed this to be the best course of action, effective immediately. We will continue to monitor ongoing public health developments regarding COVID-19 in the hope of continuing play at a point when it is safe to do so.

“We thank all Ontario Hockey League players and their families as well as staff and fans from across the League for their patience and encourage everyone to take the necessary precautions to ensure continued health and wellness.”

Hockey Canada, the OMHA, and OHA have also suspended play.

That means the GOJHL and PJHL playoffs are on hold.