ROCHESTER, NY (WROC)- Saturday was a busy day for youth ice hockey, as teams were finally able to take the ice for competitions after the guidelines on high-risk sports were lifted.
Around 15 games were scheduled to be played a the Rochester Ice Center in Fairport, a day some families, players, and coaches have been waiting for for weeks.
The youth ice hockey games played on Saturday were the first competitions some players have seen since hockey season last year.
“It’s just fun,” said Jackson, a youth ice hockey player. “I like to play defense.
“Very happy,” said Peyton Elwood, a youth ice hockey player. When asked what he missed most he said, “scoring goals, being with my friends and playing with them”
Ice hockey games and competitions for other high risk sports are finally being scheduled, after the state updated its COVID-19 guidelines, letting local county health departments determine if higher-risk youth sports can be played.
“They’re back in their routine, it’s stuff they like to do. you know, practices are fun but its the competing and stuff that a lot of the girls play hockey for, especially in our area so being able to compete it just keeps the energy going their excited to have something to play for know and not just boring practices,” said Melissa Ames, a coach for the Rochester edge girls team.
Players and coaches are following strict covid-19 guidelines, requiring masks for all on and off the ice and limiting contact between teams. Even with the restrictions, they say it’s worth it for the kids.
“Some kids didn’t sleep last night. a lot of excitement towards it,” said Shawn Wilkins, coach 2009 junior amerks. “It will probably be an abbreviated season, get in some games here and there when we can and just go from there and play everyday and just schedules teams that are available really at this point.
There are already games scheduled the next couple of weekends at the Rochester Ice Center.