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PCR test requirements force Rangers to pivot

The fate of future games in the season are brought into question
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Logo from the Kitchener Rangers.

It's a word all Kitchener Rangers fans dread: postponed.

The dreaded call came again, with Saturday's game in Erie postponed to a later date because of COVID-19 protocol.

The OHL wasn't specific in how the game was impacted, but the Chief Operating Officer and governor for the Rangers shed some light on the situation.

"We have members of the club who are in COVID protocol," Joe Birch said. "And due to the requirements of a positive PCR test 14 days in advance of travelling over the border, we don’t meet that travel requirement, so we are unable to send our club."

Birch explained the team is through a period of 14 days, but there's a wider window at play.

"As we understand the rules to be, there's actually a 90 days window now of a positive test, a positive PCR that can assist with border travel," he said.

Birch said it's hard to say for certain if these protocols will come into play again ahead of February 9 --- which is when they're scheduled to play in Flint --- but believes the timing should look good for the team to cross the border to play those games.

As for the future of the season in general, Birch remained unsure.

"There are other factors at play here because it's not just our own team," he said. "It does take two teams to play, and so we can’t control what's going on with any of our opponents."

"I'd love to be able to say with 100 per cent certainty nothing will be rescheduled, but I don’t know if that's realistic at this time."

Despite it all, Birch believes morale is good on the team.

"If we roll the clock back a year ago, we were playing no hockey," he said. "So at least we have hockey, and we all have our health and there are lots of other worse things going on in the world."

Birch thanked the community and fans for support, as well as the patience of season ticket holders and community partners.

"We're working through everything on a day-by-day basis, and everything is as new to us as much as it is to you," he said.

"We thank everybody in the community for their support and that’s all that we can ask."

There's no word yet on a rescheduled date for Saturday's game in Erie, or last Wednesday's scheduled tilt in Flint.

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