Top News

Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor looking at ice time options should senior hockey not go

Gander Flyers vs. Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts
Gander Flyers vs. Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts - Adam Randell

With the ongoing uncertainty about the future of senior hockey in central Newfoundland for the 2019-2020 season, towns are starting to prepare for the worst. 

While the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts and the Gander Flyers senior hockey teams are still hoping to hit the ice in their respective rinks, the towns of Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor have to consider a Plan B in the event the teams do not use these stadiums this season. 

If the Flyers don't play, the Gander rink would have a two-hour time slot to fill on Saturday nights, not to mention the times that would usually be booked by the teams for warm-ups.

“We are hopeful (the Flyers) will return,” said Gander Coun. Gina Brown. “They are important and provide a sense of community.” 

Senior hockey game weekends also mean a busy town, with hockey fans spending money at local businesses.

Minor hockey, figure skating or special events are all things Gander is looking as a contingency to fill that potential void, said Coun. Brown.

“We’re exploring what we may be able to do. As soon as we get word (on the future of senior hockey for this season) we’ll go forward with a plan.” 
Grand Falls-Windsor feels it's in an easier spot than Gander. 

Traditionally, the Cataracts have played on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons. With the average time for a senior hockey game being around two hours, that would leave the town left to fill at least four hours of ice time.

The Central Impact team, playing the province’s major midget hockey circuit, operates out of the community. They’ll figure to fill a portion of the ice time that would be left if the senior Cataracts don't play in the Joe Byrne Memorial Arena. 

“It is great to see that the AAA midget decided to come back to Grand Falls-Windsor,” said Coun. Rod Bennett, chairperson of the town’s parks, recreation and special events committee. 

There's also the Grand Falls-Windsor Blade, members of the six-team Central Newfoundland Senior Intermediate Hockey League. They’ll play 14 homes games until February at the Windsor

Stadium and bring in fans from areas like Springdale, Twillingate, Lewisporte, Triton and New-Wes-Valley. 

Both of those things, along with minor hockey, figure skating and other sports and events will help fill the gap in Grand Falls-Windsor if there is no senior hockey this season. 

“We’re going to be as busy as we were last year,” said Bennett. 

Recent Stories