Sound Tigers, AHL season suspended indefinitely for coronavirus containment
The end of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers’ season, like the rest of the American Hockey League’s and most of the rest of the sporting world, is on hold.
The AHL board of governors on Thursday followed the NHL’s lead and suspended its regular season with a month to go, part of the public-health initiative to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
“With the health and safety of our players, officials, staff and fans of primary importance, the American Hockey League has announced the suspension of play until further notice, effective immediately, due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic,” a statement from the league said.
“The AHL will continue to monitor developments and will provide updates on the 2019-20 season at the appropriate time.”
Bridgeport had 13 games remaining in its regular season. Eight, including the next four, were to be played at home at Webster Bank Arena. The team had a cancer-awareness weekend planned for this weekend and a girls hockey celebration next weekend.
“The health and safety of our players, fans and staff is our top priority. We will continue to stay in touch with medical experts, the AHL office and government officials to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 crisis,” a statement from the Sound Tigers said.
“Thank you for your patience and flexibility during these unprecedented times.”
The next step is unclear. Even before the AHL’s announcement, the Chicago Wolves had said they would postpone their final eight home games after Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker recommended delaying sporting events with large crowds until May 1.
Tickets for Bridgeport’s remaining games will be valid on the rescheduled date, the team said, adding that “if any games are canceled, details about refunds and credits will be communicated at that time.” There are no team practices or meetings scheduled indefinitely, either.
The NHL announced it was suspending its season earlier in the afternoon. The ECHL’s announcement followed the AHL’s. Canadian and American junior leagues also suspended play. College tournaments were cancelled, including Atlantic Hockey’s: Sacred Heart had been set to play Robert Morris in a quarterfinal series at Webster Bank Arena that was to begin on Thursday night.