Generals cancel Friday game as Fort Saskatchewan withdraws from league

Lacombe General Levi Nelson is taken down by Fort Saskatchewan Chief Kyle Henderson in front of goaltender Ryan Demharter during Allan Cup Hockey West league action on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex. The game was the first and last time the Generals would face the Chiefs this season. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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The Lacombe Generals will have an unexpected week off after the Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs announced the closure of their team, at least for the 2018-19 season.

Originally scheduled to play Friday against the Chiefs at the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex, the Generals announced the cancellation of the Nov. 2 game, as well as all other games against the Chiefs scheduled this season via social media.

“Sad news out of the Allan Cup Hockey West today,” a Facebook post said. “The Fort Sask Chiefs have ceased operations after 15 years in the league. This will, of course, mean that Friday night’s game, as well as our games against the Chiefs on Nov. 10, Jan. 4, Jan. 19, Jan. 27 will also be cancelled.

“The Lacombe Generals organization wishes you all the best, and we hope to see the Chiefs back on the ice next season.”

The news of the Fort Saskatchewan Chiefs’ withdrawal came just before 1 p.m. Wednesday, with a message posted to their own Facebook page.

“Various factors led to the tough decision that it would no longer be sustainable for our organization to continue to operate this year. With that being said, we are hopeful our hockey club will be back playing senior hockey again in the coming years,” the Chiefs said.

“At this time we would like to thank all the current and former players, staff, volunteers, sponsors and overall community support from the Town of Fort Saskatchewan over the course of the last 15 years. Your time, hard work and dedication is greatly appreciated and we hope to be back for you very soon.

“Lastly, we would like to wish the four remaining teams in the ACHW best of luck this year in their pursuit of an Allan Cup championship.”

More schedule changes will likely come, and fans are asked to pay attention to the Lacombe Generals social media pages for updates.