In New Glasgow, N.S., the region's top girls hockey teams hit the ice on Saturday and Sunday for the province's first-ever female hockey championship tournament. But along with the excitement, was disappointment following news the 2020 Women's World Championship Tournament; scheduled to begin in Nova Scotia in late March – was abruptly cancelled.
"I understand, but like, it's kind of sad," says hockey player Bree Macpherson.
"We had just purchased tickets for all the girls in Atlantics to go see Sunday night's game. So, unfortunately, that big treat is now not gonna happen," says parent, Mary Beth MacNeil.
Rumours that the international tournament could be cancelled due to covid-19 concerns swirled for days – until an official confirmation came Saturday.
The cancellation is a let-down for those looking forward to the event, which was to be co-hosted by Halifax and Truro. For the two communities, the news is a blow.
"For Truro, it was a big deal for us," says Truro mayor, Bill Mills. "I feel for the athletes. Not a good day on many fronts, but under the circumstances, understandable."
For downtown Halifax businesses, the loss of potential revenue is disheartening as the hospitality industry braces for the impacts of the coronavirus.
"I'm sure everybody was projecting good business for those 10 or 11 days," says restaurant co-owner, Colin Grant. "But safety first, I guess, in my opinion."
For the young hockey players and fans in New Glasgow, it seems almost everyone had tickets for the tournament – which they hope be honoured next year. Hockey Canada says it plans to bring next year's championships to Nova Scotia pending final approval from the International Ice Hockey Federation.
Meanwhile, those in Nova Scotia's hockey world continue to keep the faith.
"Hopefully they'll be here, and it will be a good time in 2021," says Coach, Laura Bray.