What happens when a minor league hockey team goes AWOL during a home game?
The Vermilion County Bobcats missed Sunday’s game against the Quad City Storm, leaving everyone baffled.
Quad City comes to the rink as fans head to Danville, Illinois for weekend games.
The national anthem was played as usual and officials got the puck ready, but after a two-minute delay and another five-minute wait, the game was declared forfeited.
Zhuxian’s coach was nowhere to be seen, there was no fitness coach, and only one player was ready to catch the ice.
Videos emerged on social media showing the Quad standing on one half of the rink compared to the empty benches, nets and ice on the other side, with fans saying how embarrassing the situation was.
To make some memories for the fans before the three-hour drive home, the visiting team invited them to the ice for some entertainment.
Their tickets cost between $7-$13 each, but it’s not all wasted.
“That’s what a small professional sport is about,” said Brian Rothenberger, Quad City’s president.
“They’re just happy to be able to do it. I think it means a lot to the fans out there, especially some of the little kids who are looking forward to skating.”
Prior to this incident, the Bobcats had been on thin ice, losing 77 of 86 games in their two years of existence.
The team revealed on Thursday that they were “cessation of operations”
“This is a sad day for the Danville hockey fans, but I want to personally thank them for their loyalty to the Bobcats over the past two seasons,” said Vermillion County Bobcats owner Ellen Tully.
The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) will now have only 10 teams in its division.