DEER LAKE Heavy ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence is keeping three female midget hockey teams from arriving on the island for an Atlantic championship event, but organizers are optimistic they will arrive in Port aux Basques later today.
Members of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island‚Äôs female midget hockey teams had their journey hampered by heavy ice earlier this morning.
However, Michelle Brophy, a spokesperson for the host committee in Deer Lake, is breathing a sigh of relief after a short meeting this morning to assess the situation.
‚ÄúThe ferry is moving,‚ÄĚ Brophy said, noting that the ferry carrying the three teams was 11 miles off North Sydney at 7:30 a.m. today when she got stuck in heavy ice. ‚ÄúThe Vision has left Port aux Basques to go and try start breaking the ice through to meet them.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThey were due to cross Tuesday night, but with the ice and weather and everything it‚Äôs just been terrible. They haven‚Äôt been able to move,‚ÄĚ added, Brophy, who is also the trainer for the Warriors.
The five-team tournament, which also features the host Western Warriors and Newfoundland and Labrador‚Äôs Central IcePak, was scheduled to get underway today at 1 p.m. with the tournament opener featuring the Central IcePak and Hockey Nova Scotia‚Äôs Pro Crest Penguins.
All afternoon games have been postponed and a new schedule is being drawn up with the ferry expected to dock in the gateway town around 4 p.m. today. The plan now is to have the opening ceremonies tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex and then the tournament opener is set for 8 p.m. with the host Western Warriors tangling with the Central IcePak.
‚ÄúNow there‚Äôs no guarantee, but I am a little bit relieved,‚ÄĚ Brophy said of the uncertainty surrounding the ice factor in the Gulf.