NORTH BAY, Ont. — The North Bay Battalion’s next two games, at home Thursday night against the Mississauga Steelheads and Saturday night at the Barrie Colts, have been postponed, the Ontario Hockey League announced Monday.
“We hadn’t been affected too much by covid so far this season, but this week the omicron variant has brought on several positive cases that will make us unable to ice a lineup for our upcoming games,” said general manager Adam Dennis, who noted that eight players were in covid protocols.
“Our affected players are currently in quarantine and will return to the lineup after their isolation period.”
With the postponements, a visit by Barrie to a Memorial Gardens devoid of spectators at 2 p.m. Sunday becomes the Battalion’s next game.
No makeup dates have yet been determined.
The games mark the first postponements related to covid infections within Battalion ranks, although the club had four games postponed previously. One, a trip last Saturday night to Barrie, was restored to its original date and played, resulting in a 3-2 victory in overtime.
The other three games, numbering a home date with the Oshawa Generals and visits to Oshawa and the Niagara IceDogs, have been rescheduled.
Meanwhile, the OHL trade deadline passed at noon, with North Bay making no further moves after a pair of trades last Wednesday, in which right wingers Kyle McDonald and Nikita Tarasevich and defenceman Grayson Ladd were acquired from the Windsor Spitfires and Sarnia Sting.
“We were in on conversations up until the final minute of today’s trade deadline and felt that there wasn’t anything that made sense to our current group,” said Dennis.
“We feel that we’re strong throughout our lineup and can compete with anyone going into the second half.”
There were nine trades involving 11 clubs Monday, with the Sudbury Wolves sending defenceman Jack Thompson to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and right winger Chase Stillman to the Peterborough Petes, receiving players and OHL Priority Selection picks in return.
On Sunday, four trades involving seven teams included the Hamilton Bulldogs acquiring centre Mason McTavish from Peterborough.