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Ontario-based OHL teams given green light to travel to US: commissioner

'We're more than comfortable that we have been deemed essential,' OHL Commissioner David Branch has confirmed Ontario-based teams will be allowed to travel to the US

The countdown is on to the OHL season, and one of the biggest issues facing the league looks to have been solved.

OHL Commissioner David Branch told the "OHL Stories" podcast, which will be released Friday at 11:00 a.m. that he's "more than comfortable that we have been deemed essential for our teams to travel and enter the United States from Ontario."

It wasn't an issue the other way around, as non-essential travel is allowed from the US into Ontario, as long as travellers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Branch said they've worked out relationships at the border stops in Port Huron, Detroit and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, as well as the crossing into Buffalo, New York.

He said the league has total support from OHL governors.

Branch said it was a team effort, and gave credit to the US-based teams that have relationships with the border.

"We're excited that we're over that hurdle," he said, "We're ready to play and move forward."

The Flint Firebirds, Saginaw Spirit and Erie Otters will only compete against one another for the month of October.

The first team to travel to the US from Ontario is scheduled to be the Windsor Spitfires on Wednesday, November 3 when they visit Flint.

The Kitchener Rangers are scheduled to make their first trip to the United States the weekend of November 13-14, when they battle Flint and Saginaw.


Mark Pare

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