SAUGUS (CBS) — The sweet sound of skates gliding across the ice and hockey sticks slapping the puck: youth hockey has returned amidst a pandemic. Ice rinks across Massachusetts reopened Saturday after being shut down for the past two weeks after the state said at least 30 clusters of COVID-19 were linked to indoor ice hockey practices and tournaments.
“We are glad to be back,” parent Kelly O’Connell said.
“This is great. We’re happy to be back. Kids are excited, we’re getting used to the new masks on the ice, kids are having some trouble, masks are fogging up,” said President of Salem and Swampscott Youth Hockey Matt Sachar.
In Saugus, many parents waited outside the rink to reduce the risk of the spread of COVD-19.
“It’s stressful but we all have to do our part to make sure things that the kids are able to get back to their activities. We’re hopeful that things are moving in the right direction,” O’Connell said.
Coaches said the two-week shutdown was tough for both the players and the parents. Now they are following the rules very carefully, including the limitation on spectators beside the rink while kids are on the ice.
“I think with the last shutdown over the last two weeks a lot of people have learned that you really got to follow all the rules,” parent Keith Raymond said. “With them being remote school and not as much activities to do, it’s really important for these kids to get out here and play hockey again.”