The B.C. Hockey League playoffs have been suspended as a precaution amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic Thursday, March 12. (Vernon Vipers photo)

Vernon Vipers playoff run shelved amid coronavirus concerns

B.C. Hockey Leage suspends play; full ticket refunds are now available for Games 3 and 4

The B.C. Hockey League (BCHL) has been suspended until further notice amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The province placed a ban on all events with more than 250 people on Thursday, March 12, and after major sports leagues like the NHL and the NBA brought their seasons to a halt, the BCHL followed suit in a Wednesday evening announcement.

The news comes one day before the Vernon Vipers were set to face the Penticton Vees in the second round of the playoffs. Instead, the Vipers announced they will be refunding tickets at full value for Games 3 and 4 starting Friday at 9 a.m.

“The Vernon Vipers are in full support of the decision made by Hockey Canada and BC Hockey,” said Vipers executive vice president Todd Miller.

Hockey Canada chose to suspend all hockey operations in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. The BC Hockey Board of Directors promptly supported this direction, suspending all BC Hockey games until further notice.

BC Hockey chief executive officer Barry Petrachenko made the following statement on Thursday”

“The health and safety of our players, their families and their communities is our utmost priority. This is a developing situation which we will continue to monitor closely along with Hockey Canada and the appropriate public health authorities. We will provide further information to our membership as soon as it is made available.

“We recognize the impact this situation has on our families and participants, and we thank our entire BC Hockey community for their patience and understanding through this difficult time.”

Vipers ticket refunds are available at the Vipers office in Kal Tire Place. There is no time limit on refunds.

READ MORE: BCHL suspends 2020 playoffs until further notice

READ MORE: COVID-19: Province bans large gatherings in B.C.

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
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