The wait to skate again is finally over.

In a small but significant step, NHL and OHL players will return to the ice in Ottawa Thursday for the first time since arenas were shut down for the novel coronavirus 10 weeks ago.

The Minto Arena, a private facility on Lancaster Road, has received Ontario government approval to re-open, providing that no more than five people are on the ice at any time.

There will be other strict codes of behaviour in place, including maintaining proper physical distancing at all times within the building.

Not surprisingly, it hasn’t taken long for the word to spread and for the rink to fill.