The majority of Whitecourt Wolverines came out of isolation last Wednesday and went on to play two home games against the Bonnyville Pontiacs Saturday and Sunday.
The Wolverines lost the Saturday game 6-2 and the Sunday game 4-0.
“I think the players and everyone’s excited to get back on the ice and get back rolling,” said Shawn Martin, Wolverines head coach.
Due to a positive test result in the Drayton Valley Thunder cohort, activity was paused for the Wolverines, Thunder and Grande Prairie Storm two weeks ago.
According to an April 1 AJHL statement, positive COVID results were subsequently found in all three teams.
Martin said isolation didn’t mean the Wolverines were no longer busy, as the players were assigned structured workouts to perform on a daily basis.
The players recorded themselves performing the exercises and submitted the video to the team to show the workouts were completed.
The community also showed its support to the Wolverines during the isolation, Martin said.
“Whitecourt has a very passionate fan base, and it showed throughout this isolation period,” he said.
The sponsors continued to back the team and the fans reached out with supportive messages through phone calls and social media, he said.
Last Wednesday 16 players and all coaching staff came out of isolation to participate in their first team practice, Martin said.
He added the team is still waiting on several players in isolation.
“The guys were excited – obviously a little winded, because they hadn’t been on the ice for a couple weeks,” Martin said.
The Wolverines held a few more practices afterward to get back into “the swing of things,” he said.
During Saturday’s game Bonnyville won 6-2. In the second period Wolverine Drae Gardiner scored with help from Dylan Witzke and Tyler Mahan.
In the third period Witzke scored with an assist from Ryan Wallz.
Gardiner was named the game’s home star.
On Sunday the Wolverines lost 4-0. Wolverine Carson Ironside was named this game’s home star.
The Wolverines next play the Bonnyville Pontiacs in Bonnyville Saturday, April 24 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 25 at 5 p.m.
Despite the isolation and cancelled games, Martin said he expects the Wolverines to remain second in AJHL standings (behind the Fort McMurray Oil Barons) before hopefully climbing into first place.
The Oil Barons and Wolverines are followed in the standings by the Pontiacs, Sherwood Park Crusaders, Spruce Grove Saints, the Storm and the Thunder.