After losing the 2020-21 season to COVID and the 2021-22 season to a player shortage, Carillon Senior Hockey League president Stacey Neufeld was really looking forward to seeing teams back on the ice this fall.
Then word spread that the Ste. Anne Aces, Red River Wild and Ile des Chenes Northstars had applied for admittance into the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League for their 71st season and were accepted.
As a result of the loss of the Aces, Wild and Northstars President Neufeld has confirmed the CSHL is in limbo.
“We had talked to the executives, and we felt that the Carillon Senior Hockey League could potentially get some other teams to come but then when we got the notification that these teams went to the SEMHL, it kind of put a halt on everything that there was.”
“It was kind of disappointing the way that I found out,” added Neufeld. “I just saw on an Instagram post by the Ste. Anne Aces that they had been accepted. I had a couple of words with Tom Vatrt who is the president of the SEMHL and just said it would have been nice to get a courtesy call to let me know that they had applied so we could maybe talk to them and see what was going on. When that went down, I wasn’t too happy with it but there really wasn’t much we could do. If they want to go play over there, they can go play over there.”
Red River, Ste. Anne and Ile des Chenes have combined to win eight of 11 games against the Altona Maroons, Carman Beavers, Winkler Royals, Morden Bombers, Notre Dame Hawks, Portage Islanders and the defending champion Warren Mercs so far this season.
“I’m not surprised,” said Neufeld. “We always knew we had really good talent in our league and the league was strong competitively. It showed when Ste. Anne won the Provincial Senior “A” championship. It’s unfortunate it had to end up this way. We haven’t folded the league yet. We’re going to take another year off and see how these teams do in the SEMHL.”
The Carillon Senior Hockey League president is hopeful Steinbach, Grunthal and Springfield can eventually come back and is excited that Landmark has returned to the Hanover Tache Junior Hockey League.
“Guys are getting involved again in the game and hopefully we can get more teams involved,” Neufeld said. “We’re just putting the league on idle and maybe one day we can do something with the SEMHL.”