315 days… that’s the amount of time since the Manitoba Junior Hockey League last played a regular season game.
Last year, the Stampeders only played a handful of games before the season was shut down. And, we all know what happened the season prior. If you don’t remember, let me tell you. COVID-19 shut everyone down in the middle of the first round of the playoffs and there hasn’t been much hockey since.
So, with 315 days since a Junior “A” hockey game was played in Manitoba… let’s get this season going.
The Swan Valley Stampeders are set to host the OCN Blizzard in a home-and-home series starting in Swan River tonight at 7:00 pm. Player introductions and official speeches will get underway at 6:55 pm and we ask that you be in your seats before player introductions get underway.
The two teams met twice during preseason action with each club picking up a win. Swan Valley picked up a 5-1 win on the road Sept. 5 while OCN beat the Stampeders on home ice 6-2 win on home ice Sept. 8.
It is hard for me to tell you who to watch for in the upcoming few games but I can’t, both teams have had a bit of a retooling during the long off-season. Once thing is for sure, we are all in for a treat when the puck drops tonight.
The OCN Blizzard will have Billy Keane back behind the bench as their Head Coach and General Manger while the Stampeders counter with Head Coach and General Manager Barry Wolff. Swan Valley’s coaching staff is rounded out by Assistant Coaches Darren Webster and Ryan Bettesworth.
REMINDER** Tickets for tonight’s game are available online at stampedershockey.com, at the door or Patty’s Sports Excellence.
**We remind everyone to respect the rules that have been put in place at the Centennial Arena regarding proof of vaccination and wearing a mask at ALL times. Social distancing remains in effect. Please do not come if you have any COVID-symptoms, and wear a mask at all times.**
If you cannot make it to the game, catch all the action live on HockeyTV.com.
More to come following the game.