OHL postpones seven more games on heels of committing to finishing season

TORONTO -- The Ontario Hockey League announced Wednesday that seven more games have been postponed due to COVID-19 protocol.

Three of the Guelph Storm's games have been affected by the postponements, including Wednesday night's game against visiting Windsor and a home-and-home series with Owen Sound originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

The Hamilton Bulldogs have also had three games postponed: Thursday at Peterborough, Friday against Niagara and Sunday against Ottawa.

The 67's game scheduled for Friday at Oshawa has also been pushed back.

The OHL has postponed 49 games this season due to COVID-19 concerns, though the league announced Wednesday that 20 of those have been rescheduled. Additionally, a game Saturday at Barrie between the Colts and North Bay that had originally been postponed will now be played.

Earlier Wednesday, the OHL said in a release that it is committed to finishing its 2021-22 season as new COVID-19 measures begin in the province, including a complete restriction on fans at indoor sports venues.

The OHL said the league's board of governors met Wednesday morning to address its next steps in progressing with the season despite no fans being allowed at games based in Ontario for at least the next three weeks. The league said it is in conversation with government and public health officials and will have updates at a later time.

Ontario-based OHL arenas had capacity capped at 1,000 people on Dec. 30 as the province struggled with the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant. The new measures that began on Wednesday will not allow for any fans in those buildings.

Seventeen of the OHL's 20 teams are based in Ontario. The other three are based in the United States and not subject to the capacity limitations.

Ontario said Monday all indoor sport and recreational facilities must be closed for three weeks, "except for athletes training for the Olympics and Paralympics and select professional and elite amateur sport leagues."

Other sport organizations have expressed disappointment with the ruling.

Canada's two other major-junior hockey leagues are in different situations.

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is on pause until Jan. 14, while the Western Hockey League is playing, but has four teams on pause.

-- with files from Sportsnet

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