Potter, Jr. Hurricanes React to Hockey Canada’s Decision to End Season

When Emma Potter left the ice on Wednesday after practicing with her Mississauga Jr Hurricanes teammates, none of them thought it would be the last time that they would be on the ice together. 

But it will be.

On Thursday, Hockey Canada canceled all events, following in the footsteps of USA Hockey which did the same thing earlier in the day due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Instead of going to provincials with her teammates, the defenseman found out that her senior season was over. 

For some of Potter’s teammates, they’ll move on to university hockey. Potter, for example, will attend the University of Toronto. For other players, this might be the end of their competitive hockey careers.

“Initially, we all went into shock,” Potter said on Friday. “All of the seniors couldn’t believe it. We all thought that we would have at least a few more weeks. It’s hard to accept that when I left the ice on Wednesday for practice, that’s going to be the last time I was on the ice with my team. At the time, I didn’t think twice about it. Then the announcement came and we were all in shock. I was crying. A lot of us were. The season’s over.”

Hockey Canada announced on Thursday that it was canceling all events, including the national championships, until further notice. 

“Without question, this an unprecedented period of difficulty for the sports world. The health and safety of all participants in sport, including players, coaches, staff, officials, fans, family, volunteers and the general public, is of the utmost importance to Hockey Canada,” the organization said in a statement. “After much consultation with the Hockey Canada membership, our Chief Medical Officer and public health officials, the Hockey Canada Board of Directors has made the decision to cancel all Hockey Canada-sanctioned activities, including our national championships, until further notice, effective immediately.

“We recognize the tremendous effort that has been put forth all year by individuals across the country as they participate in Canada’s game. Although it is difficult to process the hockey season-ending abruptly, we feel this is the best course of action in order to do our part in keeping our country safe.“

Potter said that she learned the news when one of her teammates saw Hockey Canada’s announcement on social media, and she sent it to the rest of the team in their group text.

At first, Potter said her teammates thought that everything would just be delayed, but not long after Hockey Canada’s announcement, the team received communication from their head coach that the season would end.

“All of the seniors took it the hardest,” Potter said. “Even if we are going on to university, my teammates are my family and you don’t know if you’re ever going to see your teammates again. I know I’m never going to play with some of my teammates again, and that really hurts. 

“We aren’t even sure if we’re going to be able to do an end-of-the-season party. We have girls that travel in so, with no one supposed to be gathering, I don’t think we are going to risk anyone getting sick. So when we left practice we had no idea, but I might not see some of these people ever again, and that’s hard.”