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Border uncertainty forces Spokane Braves to withdraw from KIJHL for 2021-22 season

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
August 18th, 2021

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League announced in a media release Wednesday that the Spokane Braves will not participate in the 2021/22 season.

The KIJHL said the decision comes as the result of continued uncertainty surrounding travel between Canada and the United States due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Braves have been a valued member of the KIJHL for many years and we were very excited to celebrate a successful 50th season for KIJHL hockey in Spokane,” said KIJHL Commissioner Jeff Dubois.

“Unfortunately, we have reached a point where certainty around cross-border travel was necessary for all parties, including the Braves’ ownership group, facility, players and staff.

“We are unable to proceed without knowing that the Braves and their Kootenay Conference opponents would be able to cross the border, and so this difficult decision was made.”

Spokane decided not to participate last season when COVID-19 closed the border between Canada and the United States.

“The Spokane Braves are very disappointed not to be able to participate in the upcoming KIJHL season,” said Braves owner Bob Tobiason.

“We would like to thank all our volunteers and prospective players for their understanding. We look forward to rejoining the league in 2022.”

A revised 2021/22 KIJHL regular season schedule will be released once adjustments are made to reschedule games involving the nine remaining teams from the Kootenay Conference’s Neil Murdoch and Eddie Mountain divisions.

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