The Deseronto Bulldogs’ sophomore season has officially been postponed until next year.
The Eastern Ontario Super Hockey League announced last week that they have cancelled the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19. Originally scheduled to begin in September, the senior league’s season was never able to get started.
“The EOSHL owners remained optimistic throughout the past few months with hopes of getting some form of a shortened season in, however following the recent lockdown the decision to cancel became inevitable with dates being pushed back too far into our usual season, disappointing news considering the success of our league in its inaugural season,” Bulldogs president and owner Landon Punchard said in a release. “On a positive note, we would like our amazing fans to know that your Bulldogs were working hard as a team in preparation for a season leading up to the lockdown, we were practicing weekly and continuing to improve as an organization and will continue to do so throughout the off season. Our current 30-player roster consists of many key returning players from our inaugural season as well some very talented new signings that are committed to playing for the Bulldogs for many years to come. Our staff is extremely confident in the 30 players on our roster and feel that this group can bring a championship to Deseronto in the 2021/2022 Season when the EOSHL returns stronger than ever.”
Though they won’t hit the ice this winter, the team has been busy signing players as they look ahead to next fall. The team announced it has added former Belleville Bull Brody Morris along with former Amherstview Jets captain Cody Smith, Deseronto native and former Wellington Duke Brodie Maracle, former Utica College NCAA Division III player Liam Hunter, Ryan Dreossi of the pro FPHL Battle Creek Rumble Bees, former Picton Pirates captain William Harrison, Chris Atanas, Shamus Barr, Michael Anson, Justin Gillis and Ethan Coens. The team also retains the EOSHL rights of Alex Basey of the FPHL Watertown Wolves. They’ll be added to a roster that includes returning players Will Lamoureux, Craig Cross, Jordan Cannons, Cullen Hinds, Kyle Wetering, Joey Mayer, Brandon Gilmour, Mitch Merry, Jeff Morris, Chris Rogalsky, Nate Kellar, Brett Maracle, Mitch Thompson and Punchard. In net the team welcomes back Graeme Gemmill, Kira Hurley and Trevor Withers.
Though the league won’t host any games this season, they’ll welcome a ninth franchise into the mix when they do resume in the form of the Chesterville Rockets.
That marks the fifth team to join the league this offseason, joining the Frontenac Phantoms, Pontiac Comets, Smiths Falls Rideaus and Glengarry Pipers.
In the league’s inaugural season Deseronto was joined by the Cornwall Prowlers, Maxville Millionaires (now known as the Mustangs) and West Carlton Rivermen. The senior league is made up of players who have aged out of traditional junior leagues and offers no age limit.