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Scenes from the Atlanta Gladiators game against Adirondack at Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth. Photo: Taylor Trebotte

While the NHL opted to "pause" its hockey season because of the coronavirus pandemic, the ECHL elected to go a step further with its campaign.

The ECHL, home to Gwinnett's Atlanta Gladiators, announced its decision to cancel the rest of the season and the playoffs on its website on Saturday night.

"The decision does not come lightly, as this is an emotional time for our players, coaches, member teams, fans and staff," ECHL commissioner Ryan Crelin said. "At this point in the season, there has been immense dedication and countless hours committed in moving towards what is traditionally the most exciting part of the hockey year.

"With that said, however, as each passing day raises additional concerns for the safety of those in the ECHL community -- and as we take precautionary measures in conjunction with our local authorities across the continent to prevent the spread of the coronavirus -- it has become apparent that this is the prudent decision."

The ECHL's decision to cancel the season came two days after the NHL and American Hockey League suspended their respective seasons.

The South Carolina Stingrays and Florida Everblades each had 92 points to finish atop the standings of the 26-team league. The Newfoundland Growlers were the defending Kelly Cup champions.

--Field Level Media

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