Article By Sam Laskaris / Photo by Chris Archer
Well, they will be soon enough.
The Clarington Eagles, who last played a game on Dec. 30, have been in a holding pattern in recent weeks because of the latest provincial lockdown, which has put a pause on various sports leagues across Ontario.
With news that some of those restrictions will soon be lifted, Provincial Junior Hockey League squads, including the Eagles, are now making plans for their return to action.
Since squads were unable to play contests in January, league officials were forced to revamp the schedule. Instead of playing 36 regular season matches, the Eagles, and all of their Orr Division rivals, are scheduled to have 32 games each. The new revised schedule was approved by league officials on Monday.
And the new schedule is an increase, by a pair of games, from the 30-game season that was released a few days ago but then revised yet again.
As a result, Clarington now has just nine contests remaining in its regular season. The Eagles are scheduled to return on Feb. 5, with a road contest against the Little Britain Merchants.
Clarington also has just four regular season home matches remaining. Those games are set for Feb. 10 (Uxbridge Bruins), Feb. 17 (North Kawartha Knights), Feb. 24 (Lakefield Chiefs) and Mar. 3 (North Kawartha Knights).
All of the Eagles’ home games, which will be staged at the Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex, have opening faceoffs set for 7:20 p.m.
Clarington is scheduled to conclude its regular season on Mar. 6 with a road contest versus the Port Perry MoJacks.
The Eagles are currently sitting atop the seven-team standings in the league’s Orr Division. They are sporting a 16-5-0-2 record.
As part of the post-lockdown changes, all seven entrants in the Orr Division will now advance to post-season play.
A bye will be awarded to the first-place finisher, unless that squad declines it. If that’s the case, the squad that placed second will have the opportunity to accept the bye.
If the second-place finisher also chooses to not take the bye, then the club that placed third must accept it.
The three opening-round playoff matchups in the Orr Division, which are scheduled to commence the week of March 7, will be best-of-seven affairs.