Bizarre hockey no-show turns into great day out for fans

US News

What happens when a minor league hockey team goes awol for a home game?

Vermilion County Bobcats failed to show up for a match against Quad City Storm on Sunday, leaving everyone bemused.

Fans had travelled to Danville, Illinois for the weekend game, and Quad City took to the rink.

The national anthem played as usual, and officials were primed with the puck, but after a two-minute delay and another five-minute wait, the game was declared a forfeit.

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Vermilion County’s coach was nowhere to be seen, there was no athletic trainer and only one player was prepared to take the ice.

Videos emerged on social media showing the Quad’s standing on one half of the rink compared to the empty bench, net, and ice on the other side with fans saying how embarrassing the situation was.

To give the fans something to remember before their three-hour drive home, the visiting team invited them onto the ice for some entertainment.

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Their tickets which cost between $7-13 each didn’t fully go to waste.

Quad City president Brian Rothenberger said: “That is really what minor pro sports is all about.

“They were excited to be able to do it. I think it meant a lot to the fans that were there, especially some of the younger kids looking forward to that skate.”

The Bobcats had already been skating on thin ice before this incident, having lost 77 out of 86 games in its two-year existence.

The team revealed on Thursday that they “ceased operations”

Ellen Tully, owner of the Vermillion County Bobcats, said: “It is a sad day for hockey fans in Danville, but I want to personally thank them for their loyalty to the Bobcats over the past two seasons.”

The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) will now only have 10 teams in its division.

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