CORNWALL, Ontario – In a statement to the media on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, the Cornwall Nationals announced that they would cease operations.
“This is a really sad day for hockey in Cornwall,” said Rodney Rivette, co-owner/president. “Unfortunately, due to our financial situation, we can no longer continue.”
At the team’s last game at the Civic Complex on Saturday, Feb. 17 there were only 358 fans in attendance. Despite the low attendance, the Nationals won the game over the North Shore Knights.
On Monday, team captain and star player Ahmed Mahfouz foreshadowed the announcement with a farewell message to Cornwall on Facebook.
“Wish things were different with the state of the hockey team but to all the fans that supported us throughout the year we players appreciate it and hopefully when we get to our new teams we can still come back and play at the Civic as visitors” Mahfouz wrote. “All the players are pretty hurt with how this is turning out and I wish I could’ve done more to make this last! To all my teammates in that dressing room thank you for helping me out with everything I love ya boys and would’ve loved a chance at winning a ring with our core group! Goodbye Cornwall!”
Rivette and other representatives of the team met with the Federal Hockey League (FHL) on Tuesday to explore the team’s future.
“We’ve exhausted every avenue possible to save the team,” said Rivette. “This is so unfortunate because owner Will Beauvais has done everything possible to make this work.”
Rivette and Beauvais are co-owners of the Cornwall Nationals.
The Nationals were in their second season and started up shortly after a previous team, the Cornwall River Kings, an LNAH team, folded in 2016.
There was no word in their statement if season ticketholders would be reimbursed.