There’s an empty feeling inside Maritime hockey arena’s these days.

Parents are not allowed inside to watch their kids on the ice, and players are restricted to practising only.

"There's only so much they can do and so long they can wait before it's kind of a waste of a year," said Angie MacDonald, whose son plays in the under-18 league.

It's been months, though, since he's been able to play competitively.

With low COVID-19 numbers in the province, MacDonald feels it's time to drop the puck.

"I think that from Hockey Nova Scotia down, they've done a great job with their rebound plan and I think it's been followed very well by the minor hockey and all the hockey teams," MacDonald said.

Amy Walsh is the executive director of Hockey Nova Scotia. She says they've been hearing from their membership, and most want to play.

"Absolutely, we want games there's no doubt about it. It's a big component of our game is games," Walsh said. "I think we're confident we will play games this year, I think we just have to be patient."

Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, says he has been hearing a number of parents are anxious about getting sports competitions back up and running, but he's taking a cautious approach.

"Games and competition add another layer of interaction between teams, officials, and families," Strang said.

Others feel having the opportunity to be on the ice practising and scrimmaging with your team is a far better alternative than sitting home and not interacting at all.

"The players and teams are quiet content to be working on skill development," said James Edwards, the Glace Bay Minor Hockey president."Our coaches are keeping our players engaged."

Current restrictions expire Jan. 24 and, if COVID-19 cases remain low, parents like MacDonald are hoping these rules with be put on ice.