Following a meeting on Nov. 12, the board made the decision to withdraw from the league due to a lack of commitment from players.
After sustaining 10 losses as the team started their season, players became increasingly discouraged.
Cyclones board president Christine Hoffman said the sudden termination of the team was the result of lack of player commitment and recruitment.
“We had enough players quit that we can’t continue with the season,” she said. “We’re all disappointed. It’s a very sad situation. (The club has) been here for 10 years and it’s a hard thing to walk away from.”
The team had recently recruited two new players from the Northwest Territories and Ontario who proved to be assets. Games were even scheduled to be held only on weekends this season to allow more players to commit. But it was challenging for the Cyclones to compete against stronger teams coming out of larger centres with a wider pool of high-caliber hockey players to pull from.
She admitted it was a difficult decision for the board to make.
“It’s something we didn’t take lightly by any means,” she stated. “But we can’t continue with 10 players either when we have 29 games left. We had a few players that were committed, but not enough to keep going.”
However, the club will continue to host fundraisers it has already planned in an effort to meet its financial commitments.
“It definitely wasn’t a financial decision why we quit,” Hoffman said. “But we’re not going to walk away from any commitments.”
The Cyclones will still host a Boxing Day tournament and dance on Dec. 27, and intend to hold another street dance in the future. The team will be selling its bus.
Anyone holding season tickets will be reimbursed the purchase cost by mailing unused tickets to P.O. Box 1238, Maple Creek. Sponsors will be contacted to discuss the unfortunate turn of events.
The club thanks all of its fans, sponsors, volunteers, billets, coaches, players and the town for their dedication to bringing the Junior B hockey team to the community.
Players have been put in a draft for the other Junior B teams to pick up.
“They do have places they can go, which is comforting to us,” Hoffman said.
With the loss of the Cyclones, the PJHL is changing the South Division’s schedule to have a 38-game schedule, similar to the North Division’s.