With nearly two weeks of training camp under their belts, the Senior Canucks are going to get some playing time under their belts as they take on the Fort St. John Flyers in an exhibition contest at the Chetwynd Rec Centre Saturday.
“Everyone’s looking forward to kicking it off,” says head coach Chris Stevens. “It’s looking promising, we’ve had a lot of bodies out this year so far, and hopefully that trend continues towards the season.”
So far, things are looking good in training camp.
“It’s kind of piecing together the puzzle in this first month of October, before we get going in November,” he shares.
“We’re looking for what will fit our team and how we can come together quickly as a team. We do have some new faces that have arrived in town, so guys I’m not used to seeing, not knowing what they’re capable of, it’ll be a feeling out process in how they play and how they fit our team to ultimately give us the best chance of winning.”
Right now, they’re looking at about 25, 26 players — in a senior league where everyone has jobs, you need the extra bodies — with over 10 returners from last season.
Competing for both the NPHL title against local teams and hopefully the Coy Cup in Fort St. John, Stevens says the team has learned from last year, the first year they competed for the Coy Cup in recent memory, and also their first Coy Cup win.
“We’ve kind of front loaded our schedule to give us the best chance,” he says. “It was more difficult then, not knowing what was going on and having the playdowns, we kind of shot ourselves in the foot with our scheduling. Around the league, we had to play a ton of games around January and kind of burnt ourselves out before playoffs.”
Of course, the chance to play against their league rivals for the title of the best Senior AA team in BC is an exciting one, too.
“This year, it’s a bit of a different story with Fort St. John hosting, we know what they’re going to bring and their team. so I think every game against them is going to be that potential for that rivalry we had and it should be exciting.”
This year, the Senior C’s start the latest they ever have for the NPHL season, opening their season at home Thursday, November 8 versus Grande Prairie. They play 20 games this season — 10 at home and 10 on the road.
But first up is a series of exhibition games against their northern rivals. The first goes in Chetwynd at 8 pm this Saturday, and then one more the following Saturday at 7:30 pm at North Peace Arena in FSJ.