SJHL using NHL 20 video game to simulate playoffs

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In SJHL playoff action on Thursday night, the Yorkton Terriers staged a third-period comeback over the La Ronge Ice Wolves, winning the game 5-3 and taking a 3-2 series lead.

OK, that didn’t happen for real, but it did virtually.

To provide starved hockey fans with some entertainment during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saskatchewan junior A league is simulating the rest of its Canalta Cup playoffs in the Electronic Arts’ video game NHL 20 and broadcasting the games over the Internet.

The SJHL was in the midst of quarterfinals when the post-season had to be suspended due to the pandemic. The virtual playoffs are picking up where the real games left off.

SJHL president Bill Chow said the idea for the project was suggested by Tanner Goetz, the league’s social media manager. Although not a gamer himself, Chow gave Goetz the green light.

“It’s a simulation, it’s virtual. And again, hopefully just a distraction for a lot of people,” said Chow.

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