The Delta Ice Hawks have filed an appeal with BC Hockey over a league ruling that saw the team forfeit four games for having an “ineligible” player on its roster.
On Jan. 20, the Pacific Junior Hockey League announced an investigation had confirmed the Ice Hawks rostered an ineligible player in four of its recent victories: against the Surrey Knights on Dec. 29 (6-1), the Richmond Sockeyes on Jan. 1 (7-6), the North Vancouver Wolf Pack on Jan. 3 (9-1) and the Chilliwack Jets on Jan. 10 (4-0).
The league did not specify which player had been ineligible or why.
In a statement issued a day later, the team explained the PJHL’s investigation stemmed from the Ice Hawks reporting a registration error to the BC Hockey office.
According to the team’s statement, the transfer of an affiliate player was approved in the registration system by the minor hockey association, the PJHL and BC Hockey, but the player’s name was not posted to the Ice Hawks’ affiliate’s roster.
“In light of the system error, BC Hockey submitted a ticket to the registration system’s IT support. The findings from the ticket are still pending,” the team said in its statement.
On Thursday (Feb. 9), the Ice Hawks issued a press release saying the team was appealing the PJHL’s decision in light of new information it had received from Hockey Canada.
The release states that prior to the PJHL’s decision, the Ice Hawks had communicated with BC Hockey to determine why the team management software had not properly added the player to the team’s electronic roster.
“Since the PJHL ruling, the Ice Hawks have now received further information from Hockey Canada confirming that there was a technical issue with the Hockey Canada software that led to the issues with respect to the player’s registration,” the release states.
“The Delta Ice Hawks have provided this new information to BC Hockey as part of an appeal filed with BC Hockey, seeking to have the PJHL ruling reconsidered. The Ice Hawks are hoping to have a decision from BC Hockey in the coming days.”
The Ice Hawks also noted that the player in question had played in the PJHL in each of the last two seasons, and that it was the team’s understanding that he had been properly registered with Hockey Canada and the PJHL before playing for Delta this season.
With two games left to play in the regular season, the Ice Hawks are currently sitting second in the Tom Shaw Conference with 66 points — only one point behind the Richmond Sockeyes.
If the Ice Hawks are successful in their appeal to BC Hockey, the team would regain the eight points they lost and the Sockeyes would lose the two they had gained by the PJHL’s decision.
Delta ends their regular season with a pair of road games — against the Surrey Knights on Thursday (Feb. 9), followed by the Chilliwack Jets on Sunday (Feb. 12).
Richmond, meanwhile, closes its regular season Thursday night with a home game against the Ridge Meadows Flames.