The Prince Albert Icehawks are going into their Prairie Junior Hockey League season opener on Tuesday on a bit of a high – something the team has not experienced for some time.
The Icehawks, who open the 2013-14 regular season on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Kinsmen Arena when they take on the Saskatoon Quakers, won their final two games of the pre-season when they completed a sweep of the Tri-Town Thunder with a 5-4 triumph on Friday.
Prince Albert, which ended the exhibition schedule with a 2-2 record, got two goals from Bryce Nemish and singles from Brent Bremner, Ryley Lajeunesse and Lucas Anseth.
The Icehawks, who won just five games all of last season, were outshot 35-34, but managed to battle the Thunder to a 2-2 draw through 20 minutes of play and grabbed the 5-4 advantage in the middle frame. There was no scoring in the final period.
Prior to the opening face-off on Tuesday the Icehawks have a special ceremony planned so fans are asked to get to the rink early.
In other hockey news, the three local developmental teams all get back to work this week with the bantam Venice House Raiders having already played their first game in the Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League on Friday.
Venice House, which boasts a majority of the players that were provincial finalists at the pee wee level two years ago, lost their season opener 7-3 to North East Wolf Pack in Melfort. Mason Issel led the Raiders with a goal and two assists while Brendl Daniels and Matthew Flodell also tallied once each.
Venice House returns to action on Saturday when they will play their home opener against Humboldt at 4 p.m. at the Kinsmen Arena.
The pee wee NAPA Raiders finished up their pre-season with a pair of wins over Melfort last week and those two teams will open the Centre-Four Hockey League regular schedule this Saturday in Melfort.
The NAPA Raiders, who were provincial finalists in each of the last two years, edged Melfort 2-1 last Tuesday and then outscored them 7-3 on Saturday to complete the exhibition schedule.
Nic Prediger and Ethan Beaulac had the goals in Tuesday’s win while seven other players shared in the scoring in Saturday’s triumph. They were: Keono Tyler, Braden Schneider, Kevin Ledoux, Dylan Scriven, Jack Kowblick, Kaleb Charko and Ben Zultok.
The midget Dmyterko Raiders, previously known as the Liteway Electric Raiders, start the midget Centre-Four Hockey League schedule with four straight on the road beginning on Friday in Warman. The Dmyterko Raiders will then play in Beardy’s, the Battlefords and Unity before having their first game at home on Oct. 16 against Watson.
All three developmental teams will be hosting a major tournament in the coming weeks with the Kelly Dmyterko Memorial event the first on the schedule and that is generally around the Remembrance Day weekend.