The SCITS Blue Bombers boys hockey team forfeited today's game in Windsor against Belle River and gave up their chance to represent SWOSSA/AA at OFSAA. This is the first time in the 25 year history of LSSAA that a team ended their season this way.
The SWOSSA rules requires that the game be schedule on either March 3,4 or 5th with a start time between 2:30 and 7:30 pm.
Prior to the outcome of the semi finals, SCITS coach Nathan Jeffery sent a request in the event that his team made the SWOSSAA final that the game be scheduled on Monday March 3rd because he had a large number of players who last summer booked a group trip to Mexico departing on March 4th. Also 2 other players are not able to play, one due to injury and one player in playoffs leaving the team with only 9 players to start.
In an email sent to Belle River by SCITS coach Nathan Jeffery "Starting the game with 9 players dressed is not a safe and responsible situation to put my players in."
Dave Bracken of Belle River email response stated the following reasons why the game could not be changed:
"1. Our arena is overbooked and it is tough to impossible to change ice times. Minor hockey and Jr C are still going strong. Our minor hockey teams are actually using other rinks in the area due to ice shortages. This is the reason we have a new complex being built as we speak. This will be our last game in the old rink we've played in since our program started. We are not going to use another rink."
"2. We promised our team and their parents a night game for SWOSSAA if we could make it. This has been our team goal all year long. We have played in many SWOSSAA games before and most of them have been night games. This is nothing new."
"3. Our players and parents have already switched work schedules and other commitments to be available for this game. Our game is being advertised on town signs, in the town paper and through word of mouth. The game is only 2 days away. It is unfair to our players, parents and the many fans attending to switch the game at this point. This is a community event for us."
"4. The dates for SWOSSAA and OFSAA come out in October. Teams must make themselves available for these dates."
For the above reasons Belle River would not change the game to an earlier day/time and accepted the forfeit from SCITS and will move on to the OFSAA final by means of forfeiture.
In other action:
The AAAA-AAA SWOSSAA championship game is proceeding today (Tuesday March 4, 2014) with Villanova HS (Windsor) hosting the Northern Vikings at 2:00pm. The winner will represent SWOSSAA in the AAAA-AAA category at OFSAA in Burlington March 18-21.