The Peninsula Panthers of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey Leauge won’t be the only team with full face protection for players next season.
B.C. Hockey announced Tuesday that players in Junior B leagues across the province will be wearing mandatory full face masks for the 2018-19 campaign.
The Panthers implemented full face protection this season, the first junior team in the province to make that move voluntarily.
At a Hockey Canada Winter Congress meeting, a report detailing facial and dental injuries showed a large gap between players wearing half visors compared to full face shields.
From 2010 to 2015, more than 370 dental injuries were reported to Hockey Canada for players with half shields, compared to just eight for those who wore full protection.
Dental claims over that period were significantly different, with $287,775 for players injured with half-visors, versus $7,548 who wore face masks.
Junior B teams in the province are projected to see a 71 per cent reduction in major medical and dental premiums under the Hockey Canada Insurance Program.
B.C. Hockey says it is working with the Junior A BC Hockey League (BCHL) to ensure player safety, estimating five per cent of BCHL players wear full face masks.