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COVID-19 forces changes to Coquitlam Express schedule

From Tri-City News (Mario Bartel) 

COVID-19 safety precautions is forcing changes to the weekend plans for the Coquitlam Express.

Friday’s game against the Wenatchee Wild, scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex has been postponed, and the team’s opponent for Saturday will now be the Surrey Eagles instead of the Victoria Grizzles.

The Grizzlies have paused all activities for five days after three players were possibly exposed to the contagion.

Victoria and Wenatchee join four other BC Hockey League teams sidelined by COVID-19 protocols, including the Cowichan Valley Capitals, Langley Rivermen, Penticton Vees and Trail Smoke Eaters.

Grizzlies coach and general manager Craig Didmon told the Victoria Times-Colonist none of the team’s players are feeling ill.

“The safety of our players, staff and billets remains our top priority,” he added.

Thursday, Express general manager Tali Campbell confirmed all of his team’s players and staff tested negative in their latest health check.

Fans with tickets for Friday’s game against Wenatchee can hold onto them for when the game is rescheduled.

Tickets for Saturday’s are still valid with the new opponent. Game time is 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Simon Fraser University men’s basketball team will have to wait before its able to resume play after the Christmas break. Its games against the University of Alaska and the University of Alaska Anchorage, scheduled for tonight and Saturday respectively at the Terry Fox Gym in Burnaby have both been postponed because of COVID-19 protocols.

The team, which includes senior guard Josiah Mastandrea of Port Coquitlam, hasn’t played a competitive game since Dec. 7, when it faced Douglas College in a non-conference exhibition.