Junior hockey in Sweden has been paused at least through the end of 2020. The Swedish Ice Hockey Association’s executive committee made the decision to shut down the U-18 Regional and U-20 National leagues based on the spread of COVID-19 infection. . . . According to swehockey.se reported, “Several regions have introduced stricter restrictions due to the spread of infection, which has meant canceled matches and training for several junior teams.” . . . Olof Östblom, the SIHA’s competition manager, is quoted as saying: “Based on the increased spread of infection and the stricter restrictions that have been issued in many regions, we are pausing operations for the time being. The decision applies from 11 November and at least until the turn of the year. We follow the development closely and our ambition is to resume games, but not earlier than the turn of the year.”
The powers-that-be in Big Ten have been concerned with pace of play and the length of games so are trying to do something about it. . . . When the season opens on Friday, intermissions will be 12 minutes in length, rather than 15. . . . Games that are televised by the Big Ten Network will feature one media timeout per period, down from three. . . . College Hockey News also reported: “Another change was made by the NCAA Rules Committee over the summer to address pace of play issues. Instead of a player being kicked out of a faceoff circle for whatever reason, as usual, the referee may instead give a warning. A second warning would lead to a two-minute penalty. . . . Post-game handshakes will be eliminated, and instead teams will do a stick salute at opposing blue lines. Coaches and other personnel will be required to wear masks. Referees will be using special whistles that the NHL started using this season, that emits less aerosol than the old whistles.”
COVID-19 CHRONICLES . . .
The SJHL’s Flin Flon Bombers aren’t allowed to play in their home arena, the Whitney Forum, due to Manitoba’s restrictions that come into play today. So the Bombers’ weekend series with the Klippers will be played in Kindersley. They will play Friday, 7 p.m., and Saturday, 2 p.m.
CBC News: Saskatchewan reports 112 new COVID-19 cases, a slight drop from the province’s previous 7-day average of 120.
The Globe and Mail: Hundreds of Saskatchewan doctors sign open letter urging action over rising COVID-19 cases.
CBC News: Manitoba is reporting it’s highest-ever daily death toll from COVID-19 with 9 new fatalities. There are 431 new COVID-19 cases, the province’s 3rd highest daily total since the pandemic began. The test positivity rate is 10.7%, the highest in the country.
CBC News: Alberta reports 672 new cases of COVID-19, 7 more deaths. Third day in a row Alberta has reported seven new deaths. More people are now in hospital being treated for COVID-19 than ever before.
CBC News: Ontario hits another high for new COVID-19 cases with 1,426. It’s the 4th time in 5 days a record has been set, and pushes the 7-day average to 1,217. The hot spots for new cases are Peel (468), Toronto (384), and York (180).
CBC News: Ontario also added 15 more deaths to its official COVID-19-linked death toll. Number of people in Ontario hospitals with COVID-19 rose slightly to 424. Of those, 88 are being treated in intensive care and 57 are on ventilators.
CBC News: 1,378 new COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed in Quebec. It’s the 2nd time in 4 days the number has topped 1,300; before that, the last time the number surpassed 1,300 was October 6. The province is also attributing 22 more deaths to the virus.
CBC New Brunswick: New Brunswick Public Health reports no new cases of COVID-19
CBC News: 3rd COVID-19 case detected in Nunavut, and 1st in Rankin Inlet. New restrictions in the hamlet of 2,800 people include a ban on indoor gatherings and mandatory masks. Nunavut’s other 2 cases are in Sanikiluaq, an island community 1,000 km away on the opposite end of Hudson’s Bay.
The Atlantic: (Wednesday), states reported that 61,964 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, more than at any other time in the pandemic. For context, there are now 40 percent more people hospitalized with COVID-19 than there were two weeks ago.
CNN, 5 p.m. PT: So far (Wednesday), there have been at least 140,543 daily new coronavirus cases in the United States, per Johns Hopkins University data. This is the highest single day reporting since the pandemic began.
The COVID Tracking Project: Texas made a late update to deaths, reporting 141. That brings our national death toll for (Wednesday) to 1562. That’s the highest number of fatalities since May 14.
The U of Maryland has paused all football-related activities “due to an elevated number of COVID-19 cases within the program.” The Big Ten game that was to have had No. 3 Ohio State at Maryland on Saturday has been cancelled. . . . Also dropped from Saturday’s schedule: No. 1 Alabama at LSU (postponed); No. 5 Texas A&M at Tennessee (postponed); No. 12 Georgia at Missouri (postponed); No. 24 Auburn at Mississippi State (postponed); Memphis at Navy (postponed); Air Force at Wyoming (cancelled); and Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State (postponed). . . . Four of those games involve teams from the SEC, which is left with a three-game weekend. . . . LSU, Texas A&M, Missouri, Auburn, Navy, Air Force and Louisiana-Monroe all are dealing with COVID-19 situations. . . .
Hockey East will open play on Nov. 20 and is hoping to complete a 20-game schedule. . . . The U of Wisconsin said on Wednesday that it won’t have fans at men’s or women’s hockey games “for an indefinite time.” . . .
The Minnesota Vikings said Wednesday that they will “no longer pursue hosting more than 250 fans for the remaining . . . regular-season home games.”
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St. Paul’s Hospital
6A Providence Building
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JUST NOTES: A tip of the Taking Note fedora to the junior B KIJHL for getting its new website up and running. It’s right here. Check it out. . . . Phil Andrews, who had been the radio voice of the WHL’s Regina Pats until he left after the 2019-20 season, now is in Saskatoon and will be calling the play for the U-18 AAA Saskatoon Blazers. His first game is scheduled for Friday.