The Pictou County Wellness Centre is prepared to host the German women’s national ice hockey team next year, COO Greg Smith says.
Smith was responding to the International Ice Hockey Federation’s news release that it was cancelling the women’s world championship this year due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 and would allow Halifax and Truro to host the 2021 world championship.
“It’s a matter of missing a year,” Smith said. “We’ll be in a better place to executive (the German team’s visit) even better next year. We’ve been told everything is going to be the same, so these teams will be coming to the same communities. It’s just delayed a year.”
Hockey players and fans were looking forward to taking part in the German team’s daily practices and the possibility of one or two exhibition games. It was a fit for the Germany contingent, which would have been based in Truro and available to travel to the Wellness Centre. The team was slotted in the B Pool, whose games were scheduled for Truro.
“We were very disappointed to have been notified before the announcement, but we’re not surprised in light of recent events,” Smith said. “It would have been a great opportunity for the community and for the facility from an experience and a revenue perspective.”
The IIHF release said it decided to cancel the championship following a recommendation by public health experts.
“Ultimately the IIHF Council feels that there has not been enough of an improvement to the coronavirus situation to allow us to safely host a 10-team international tournament within this time frame,” IIHF President René Fasel said in the release. “We look forward to coming to Canada in 2021.”