Minor League Hockey Team Forfeits After No Showing… At Home

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A minor league hockey team had quite possibly the easiest win they will ever have after the home team didn’t show up to the rink to play them and forfeited.

It happened in the SPHL — the Southern Professional Hockey League — an independent minor league with teams across the southern and midwestern United States. Like something out of Slap Shot, the Quad City Storm dealt with one bizarre weekend.

The Storm were supposed to play a weekend series against the Vermilion County Bobcats who play out of Danville, Illinois. However, hours before the game, Vermilion County canceled.

Unfortunately, the last-place Bobcats were replaced by the first-place Peoria Rivermen who the league sent in their absence.

However, Quad City was told they’d get to play Vermilion County in a game on Sunday. Only this time they’d have to do it on the road.

So, they trucked across the great state of Illinois — Abraham Lincoln is from there, or so I’ve heard — for the game. It ended up in the win column for Quad City but in one of the strangest ways possibly ever.

The Vermilion County Bobcats — the home team — forfeited after not showing up.

That’s right, they did everything by the book, just like there were going to give the fans 60+ minutes of minor league puck.

The league released a brief statement after the game.

“The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) on Sunday announced the Quad City at Vermilion County game scheduled for Sunday, February 5 has been declared a forfeit in favor of Quad City pursuant to Rule 73.3 of the SPHL Rule Book.”

Well… there you have it a rare, no-show forfeit at home.

Things Have Not Gone Well For The Vermilion County Bobcats

This season, things have been going poorly for the Bobcats, to say the least. To say the most, this season has been an unholy dumpster fire. The team has posted a 4-26-2 record through 30 games, which includes the forfeit to Quad City.

According to the Quad-City Times, the SPHL is calling a board of governors meeting to determine what to do about the floundering club.

The team began play during her 2021-22 season. Unfortunately, their inaugural campaign didn’t go any better, as they posted an abysmal 5-46-5 record.

Fortunately for the fans who showed up to the rink even when their team didn’t, the Quad City Storm didn’t leave them high and dry. Following Sunday games, the Bobcats typically host a skate with fans.

Without any Bobcats, Storm players hung around to handle the skating duties.

“Our guys were very excited for the chance to hang around and skate with the fans,” Storm president Brian Rothenberger told the Quad-City Times. “I think they made a lot of people’s day. It’s a very tough situation those fans are going through and I think they got to brighten some spirits, especially for some of the kids that were there.”

Well, good on the Quad City Storm for making fans some lemonade out of one lemon of a situation.

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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