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N.S. hockey team facing league penalties after postponing game due to weather


The Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League’s South Shore Lumberjacks were scheduled to play in East Hants, N.S., on Friday night.

By late afternoon, the winter storm had already started.

“I know when we left around 5:30, it was already pretty bad,” said South Shore player John Shubaly.

“I was worried about after the game.”

Team owner Jim Bottomley said some of his players live roughly 130 km away, in Bridgewater, N.S.

Late afternoon, he contacted the league.

“My main concern is the kids on the highway,” said Bottomley.

“I told him there was a possibility we wouldn’t be making the game.”

Having players drive home late at night on messy roads was a concern, so Bottomley made what he felt was the responsible decision.

“The game was cancelled at that time,” he said.

Two days later, the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League (NSJHL) issued a release, stating “there was no evidence of any travel concerns.”

The Lumberjacks were forced to forfeit the game and were fined $3,000 for postponing without enough notice.

“We spoke with both teams, some of the South Shore players were at the rink at the time,” said NSJHL president Gerard MacDonald.

“The officials who came from Amherst, N.S., were at the rink and all the Penguins were at the rink. It was a matter of timing.”

South Shore player Daniel Leblanc doesn’t understand why the league would try to play a game during worsening winter weather conditions.

“There is no point in risking at all to play one game that you can play next weekend or next month,” said Leblanc.

MacDonald said the league followed Hockey Nova Scotia travel policy.

“We did look at the weather reports,” said MacDonald.

“We did look at everything, and the executive came up with the decision and to welcome any appeal on that decision as well.”

Bottomley will take his appeal to Hockey Nova Scotia.

“If they want to continue to fine me, they can fine me for whatever, but I will always first consider the safety of the player,” said Bottomley.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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