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Grizzlies latest BCHL team to be hit by COVID protocols; will cease team activities for 5 days

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The Victoria Grizzlies logo. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

The Victoria Grizzlies were supposed to head to Powell River today to face the Kings tonight, but instead the players will be home isolating as Tuesday night the Grizzlies became the fifth B.C. Hockey League team forced to pause all acitivities for five days due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

The Grizzlies join the ­Cowichan Valley Capitals, ­Langley Rivermen, Penticton Vees and Trail Smoke Eaters as teams who are currently inactive, meaning no games or practices.

The Grizzlies have postponed tonight’s game in Powell River against the Kings and Saturday’s game in Coquitlam against the Express. The Grizzlies’ game Sunday in Langley had already been postponed due to the ­Rivermen undergoing a five-day protocol break announced ­Monday.

All games and practices involving Cowichan Valley, Langley and Penticton will be postponed through Sunday. The Grizzlies and Smoke Eaters will be out commission until ­Monday. Trail will have three games ­postponed.

“Nobody on our team is ­feeling sick,” said Grizzlies GM and head coach Craig Didmon.

Didmon said the Grizzlies situation involves three players.

“We have no illnesses but it’s safety first.”

It’s simply something that must be factored into the ­current health situation, said Didmon: “We’ll stay separate and move on next Monday.”

The Capitals have their home games Thursday against the Rivermen and Friday against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs ­postponed. The Nanaimo ­Clippers have had their home game Friday against Langley postponed.

The Grizzlies’ next ­scheduled game is Jan. 12 when they travel to Nanaimo to take on the ­Clippers.

LOOSE PUCKS: Didmon was busy off the ice Tuesday as he cleared up the crowd in his team’s crease. Veteran ­netminder Carter Woodside, who missed a month before Christmas break with an injury, is healthy and ready to play now, but with Cole ­Schwebius and Kyle Kelsey ­having solid seasons, Didmon traded ­Woodside to Coquitlam for future ­considerations.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com