The North Okanagan Knights were eliminated from the KIJHL playoffs after a 3-2 overtime loss to the Kelowna Chiefs Thursday, March 5, 2020. (Steve Dunsmoor photo)

‘All of a sudden, it’s done’: Kelowna Chiefs accept somber end to season

The Junior B league season ended during division finals series

In the midst of league playoff action, the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League cancelled the remainder of its postseason as well as the 2020 Cyclone Taylor Cup.

The Kelowna Chiefs were mid-series with the Princeton Posse but had the season cut short on March 13, after the Junior B league was advised by Hockey Canada and B.C. Hockey that the hockey season would not resume after being suspended just a day earlier.

“We got the news on the bus to the game,” said Chiefs game day manager Alex Draper.

“It was a weird feeling. All of a sudden, it’s done. You got to do what everyone else it and know that it’s right but I can’t help but feel sorry for the 20-year-old players who didn’t know that (the March 10 win) was going to be their last game of their junior hockey careers.”

READ MORE: West Kelowna Warriors add depth with two off-season signings

Draper said that the ripple effect of the coronavirus’ spread can be felt in the locker room and the organization as the somber realization of the Chiefs’ finished season sets in throughtout the Rutland community.

Chiefs fan and usual anthem singer Scotty Berg was scheduled to sing O Canada at the Vancouver Canucks games on March 15, but with the NHL season indefinitely suspended, the 12-year-old missed this year’s chance.

“That’s the collateral damage,” said Draper.

“Our fans love him and we were so behind him and to have that opportunity at 12 years old, it’s tough.”

The Chiefs were once again having a top-notch season and were tied 1-1 in the series with the Posse as the two teams battled for the Bill Ohlhausen Division crown.

Draper noted that the call was a tough one for the fans, but that the KIJHL made the right call.

“This decision was made with the health and safety of our players, coaches, volunteers, billets and fans as the sole consideration,” the KIJHL said in a statement. “We share your disappointment at this news, and thank all those who contributed to an exciting and entertaining 2019 to 2020 hockey season.”

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Junior B Hockey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Senior ‘seriously injured’ after Kelowna bus crash

A Ford E350 van collided with a BC Transit Bus on KLO Road on Friday, July 31

COSAR attends one search and two rescues over long weekend

Teams searched for a missing cliff jumper, were called out to a sinking boat and an injured ATVer

EDITORIAL: Improving highway safety

Highway 97 has seen plenty of collisions and accidents over the years

Kelowna house and hip hop artist grows in popularity with new single

Edge’s ‘Vice City Vibes’ is available on all streaming platforms now

VIDEO: Crews in Summerland film Christmas parade in July

Filming, on July 31, took place during the hottest days of 2020

UPDATE: More personnel at Dry Lake fire, 43 properties remain under evacuation alert

Wildfire has been burning out of control north of Princeton for three days

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

New North Okanagan fire hall breaks ground

Groundwork is on tap for a new community firehall. Site works are… Continue reading

Princeton man faces charges after allegedly receiving ‘drunk driving’ lesson

The incident happened in the early morning hours of Friday, Aug. 1

What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

Forests minister Doug Donaldson doesn’t support ‘moratorium’

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

VIDEO: Wildfire erupts north of Sicamous above Shuswap Lake

Observers suspect fireworks sparked blaze, Wildfire BC states cause still unknown

Canadians can travel to Hawaii in September; no quarantine with negative COVID test

Travellers will be required to pay for their own tests prior to arriving

Most Read