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Halifax Thunderbirds to focus on 'Inaugural Season 2.0' after 2020 season officially cancelled

'I truly believe we had a great chance of bringing a championship to the great city of Halifax this year,' said head coach Mike Accursi
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Halifax Thunderbirds logo at Scotiabank Centre (Meghan Groff/HalifaxToday.ca)

OFFICIAL STATEMENT
HALIFAX THUNDERBIRDS
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The National Lacrosse League announced today the cancelation of the remainder of the 2020 season due to ongoing health concerns with COVID-19 and ensuring the safety of our fans, players and staff. The League is focusing its attention and efforts on preparing for the 2020-2021 season. 

“Though it is not the outcome that we all hoped for, we fully support the decision made today by the National Lacrosse League to cancel the remainder of the 2020 season. On behalf of the entire Thunderbirds organization, we would like to thank our community partners, players, coaches, staff, and great fans for their unwavering support this year,” said Thunderbirds President and CEO John Catalano.

“With how the city has embraced the organization in our first year, this abrupt ending due to the pandemic has left us all wanting more. We are looking at next season as a continuation of our first year, viewing it as our ‘Inaugural Season 2.0’.”

This comes after the league announced the cancellation of the remainder of the regular season back in April. The Thunderbirds will look to continue their successful inaugural campaign in the National Lacrosse League during the 2020-21 season. A ticket representative will be contacting season ticket members with additional information.  

"I truly believe we had a great chance of bringing a championship to the great city of Halifax this year," said Head Coach Mike Accursi. "We are very disappointed that we will not get to see that goal achieved for our team and, most importantly, for our tremendous fans. Although this is a disappointing end to the year, during this difficult time, the health and safety of our community needs to be the number one priority. Looking forward to next season, we have some unfinished business and I can’t wait to be back in The Nest."

The 8-4 Thunderbirds finished the 2019-20 regular season in sole possession of first place in the North Division after an 11-9 victory over the Buffalo Bandits on March 8th. Captain Cody Jamieson led the team's regular-season offence with 59 points (26+33). Goaltender Warren Hill ends the regular season with an 8-1 record and a goals-against-average of 9.65%. Jake Withers dominated at the face-off X all season long, going 242-310 in 12 games played for a league-best .780%. Graeme Hossack had a spectacular season for the Thunderbirds posting 18 points (9+9) on offence while defensively collecting 106 loose balls and accounting for 19 caused turnovers. 
 
Reflecting back on this season Thunderbirds Owner and General Manager, Curt Styres went on to say: 

The decision to cancel the 2019-2020 NLL Playoffs is a hard pill to swallow for myself, the players, coaches, and staff, who have worked incredibly hard in bringing our organization to Halifax, but ultimately believe it is the right course of action. The health and safety of all parties involved is our highest priority.

When we set forth with our journey to Nova Scotia, we always envisioned a city passionate for its hometown teams and hungry for professional sports entertainment. The support you gave us is something that we could never imagine. From the brand launch to the jersey launch, the Intrasquad game to the final seconds of each home game, you have stood alongside us, and we cannot be more thankful.  

While some might consider this to be the unfortunate ending of our Inaugural Season, we view this as just the beginning of something special here in our new home of Halifax.

We are excited to get back to work, and have our sights set on the 2020-2021 season, where we plan to keep the celebration going.
 
Season Ticket Member packages are on sale for the 2020-21 season. Call or text the Halifax Thunderbirds Ticketing Department at 902-334-2333. Fans can also email info@halifaxthunderbirds.com for customer support.
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