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Tentative Closed: Local Players, Coaches Respond to Hockey Court Closures – Sports – Milford Daily News

Tentative Closed: Local Players, Coaches Respond to Hockey Court Closures – Sports – Milford Daily News
Tentative Closed: Local Players, Coaches Respond to Hockey Court Closures – Sports – Milford Daily News


On Oct. 22, Governor Baker and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued a public health order banning the operation of indoor ice rinks and skating facilities for two weeks.

Madi Dolan completed her first captaincy training with the rest of her team on October 21 at the Pirelli Veterans Arena in Franklin.

“It went really well,” said Dolan, a Franklin High girls hockey senior captain. “I was really in pain afterwards, but I just got my skating legs back.”

However, the next day, Governor Charlie Baker and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued a public health order banning the operation of indoor ice rinks and skating facilities for two weeks. The ice rinks may resume their activities on November 7.

“In our hockey group chat, everyone was really upset about it,” said Dolan. “We hope to get back together as soon as possible on November 7.”

Former Hudson High hockey player Cam O’Brien works for the New England Sports Center (NESC) in Marlborough. Before COVID-19, O’Brien worked in the pro shop, but during the pandemic, his responsibility changed to working at the front door and signing people up.

“One of the things we did is put up signs saying, you have to go to one of these doors for these rinks and these doors for those ice rinks, don’t come through the front door,” O’Brien said. “Of course everyone came through the front door. It was quite a mess. “

Even as operations continued during the pandemic, O’Brien found that people’s behavior did not change.

“You would think people were going to learn,” he said. ‘People just haven’t learned it. They kept coming in (through the front door). People would get mad at us. They would get mad at us for rules that (we didn’t make). We’re just enforcing them. “

In addition to adapted entrances for certain rinks and limited spectator capacity, NESC initially closed the locker rooms after it reopened and asked participants to come to the rink half-dressed and change in the lobby.

Recently, teams had to wear masks on the couch and in the hallways while the capacity in the locker rooms was limited. But according to O’Brien, not all of those protocols were followed by players, coaches and teams.

So he’s not necessarily surprised that Governor Baker closed ice rinks for two weeks.

“I immediately thought this wouldn’t be long,” said the 2019 Hudson High graduate. “When people started to understand how we do things, I thought, ‘Maybe we can make this work?’

‘But I can’t say I was surprised. But at the same time, it still came as a shock, but it wasn’t like it came out of nowhere. “

Framingham High girls hockey coach Casey Diana also coaches a U-16 club hockey team called the North Shore Wings from Middleton. As a club hockey coach, she tries to make sure that her children take all precautions.

“We don’t want to be part of the problem,” she said. “We want to be part of the solution. Ultimately, it comes down to the coaches and the parents making sure their children follow the rules. “

She also thinks that people (at least high school kids) should take some initiative and call others if they see someone breaking the rules.

“It can be uncomfortable to call a teammate,” said Diana. “But if you’re someone who follows the rules and you see someone who isn’t, then maybe you should say, ‘Hey man, put your mask back on or you could ruin it for all of us.’ ”

Diana also says the rules were different at every rink she’s been to in the past three months.

Wayland senior captain Will Carr was devastated when he heard the news that the hockey courts had been closed for two weeks.

“I’ve been looking forward to my senior hockey season since I was in high school,” Carr said. “The rest of the seniors have been talking for years about how excited they are for this season, so that our first captain’s practice sessions would be canceled was pretty worrying for the season.”

However, there is some optimism about the fate of high school hockey, which has been identified as a high risk sport by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).

“With hockey you have gloves on, you have pads on, there is not much (skin-to-skin) contact and for (the Hopedale, Millis, Milford co-op boys team) we look at the face shields, so that every child has a face shield, “said Peter Boucher, Milford’s athletic director, who is also part of the MIAA COVID-19 Task Force.” So the risk of transmitting has been reduced so much. “

For others, the timing of the rinks closing is reassuring.

“If closing the rinks now means we have a high school season, then I’m fine with losing a club season as long as I get a high school season,” Franklin co-captain Amanda Lewandowski wrote in a text message. “Ultimately, people’s health and safety come first, but I hope the ice rinks can open soon and that I can finish my hockey career in a fun and strong way.”

Ethan Winter is a senior multimedia sports journalist with the Daily News. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @EWints.

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