Hockey is back next week for the Kenora U18 AAA Thistles after the provincial government's three-step plan was announced last week that would see recreational facilities open.

Their season was put on hold on January 5, 2022, when the provinces modified Step Two of the provinces Roadmap to Reopen plan came into effect that saw the pause to their season. 

Thistles head coach Scott Parsons said that he’s glad their season can resume and he and his team can take the ice again.

“I was starting to get worried that cases were going to continue to rise and we were going to have to continue with this pause. I’m really excited to get back onto the ice with the guys again,” Parsons said.

As of Monday (January 31, 2022), the province will be moving into step one of its three-step plan to gradually ease public health restrictions.

Monday will see the opening of recreational facilities, allowance of 500 people or 50 per cent capacity limit at sporting events, and the opening of restaurants to name a few.

Though the season is back for Kenora, the recent pause on their season cost them to forfeit 12 games, which can’t be rescheduled.

Looking forward to their last four games, Parsons added their focus is on preparing for their regional match-up with arch-rival the Thunder Bay Kings.

“The last couple of games that we’re going to get in will be used as prep to make sure we’re in a place that we can compete and potentially win that series against the Kings. It’s going to be a lot of practice between now and then and hopefully we can get a couple more exhibition games underway.”

The Thistles won’t be wasting any time as they will be back on the ice on Monday (January 31, 2022) for practice to prepare for their first game back against the Winnipeg Bruins (10-14-4) on February 2. 

The last time the Thistles took the ice was back on December 19, 2021, when they were on the losing end of a 7-3 defeat by the Parkland Rangers (12-12-5).