TOLEDO, Ohio – The Coronavirus, aka COVID-19, has grabbed headlines by growing from an epidemic to a global pandemic in recent weeks. Large gatherings and sporting events are being affected, as the NHL’s San Jose Sharks and AHL’s Barracuda have limited their home games to “home and visiting club personnel, approved credentialed media and broadcast partners, essential club and arena staff, and…officials.”

In the wake of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine recommending on Tuesday that any games in the state be played without spectators for the foreseeable future, the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye released the following statement on Wednesday afternoon.

“Following the new developments that came out of today’s press conference by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, the Toledo Walleye will take the State’s recommendation and play tonight’s game against the Cincinnati Cyclones with a restricted attendance policy at the Huntington Center.

“Only official team members and credentialed personnel and media will be allowed to attend tonight’s game.”

The press release also stated where fans could watch the televised game, that tickets for the game would be credited for a future Walleye or Toledo Mud Hens baseball game, and that more information would be released as it became available.

The scene on Wednesday night was a surreal one, as Mark Monroe of the Toledo Blade documented on social media.

As for the game itself, Toledo defeated Cincinnati by a score of 5-3. After two consecutive Cyclones goals in the first period, the Walleye rattled off four unanswered tallies through the second and third before adding an empty-netter with 35 seconds left in regulation to seal the victory.

How the Coronavirus affects the minor league hockey world is a developing story. Continue following The Sin Bin on Twitter, Facebook, and through the main website for updates.

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