ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — As concerns over the coronavirus continue to clear sports calendar across the country, the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) decided on Sunday to cancel the remainder of the 2019-20 schedule.
The announcement leaves Roanoke off the ice for the rest of the season.
The Rail Yard Dawgs finish the year with a 16-22-9 record, putting the team in seventh place in the SPHL, which would’ve qualified for the eight-team playoffs.
Instead, the Berglund Center will go dark for seven nights that were left on the Dawgs’ schedule, which represented a fourth of the home games now lost due to COVID-19.
Rail Yard Dawgs president Mickey Gray expressed shock, disappointment and frustration with the announcement but ultimately supports the SPHL’s decision.
“Despite the devastating financial impact, we believe this to be the right thing to do at this time for the safety of our players, staff and most importantly the great fans of this organization,” Gray said in a letter to fans on Sunday afternoon.
Gray said the financial losses with having a fourth of the home schedule canceled will be substantial.
“Despite this setback, we will pick ourselves up off of the mat and we will endure.”