It's been 212 days since the Manitoba Junior Hockey League last iced a regular season or playoff game due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that'll change tonight (Fri) as the league's modified 2020/21 regular season will officially kick-off with 6 game schedule.
To follow their Return to play guidelines and to help to limit the risk of the spread of the virus, the league will play a 42 game regular season schedule meaning teams will play their 3 divisional rivals, 8 times each while playing the rest of the league just twice.
For Swan Valley Stampeders' Head Coach/GM Barry Wolff, he commends the hard-work that the league office has done to get them back on the ice.
"You know our league has done a great job in getting an approval from Manitoba and all the teams have done an incredible job following the protocols and so far so good everybody's healthy and moving forward and I just think it's great for everybody in Manitoba and the teams in the city and the fans that are all going to get a chance to see our hockey for real in a safe fashion coming Friday. "
For the Stampeders' they'll open their season against one of their three division rivals, the OCN Blizzard who they'll meet in their first 4 games of the campaign.
"One thing for sure obviously Billy Keane going in there he's a good coach and does a great job with those guys and they're gonna be well structured and they compete and that they've got some good skill up there so it's definitely gonna be a battle for us. "
The game will be broadcasted from OCN on GX94, starting the play by play which gets going on at 7PM MB time. You can also listen live to the game online at www.gx94radio.com
The Waywayseecappo Wolverines' also kick-off their season on the road on Friday when they travel to take on the Dauphin Kings at Credit Union Place.
Wolverines' Head Coach/GM Taylor Harnett says his bunch are ready to go.
"In order to have success you've got to play good teams and win big games and we're gonna start there the season with that mindset and we expect a great effort from Dauphin in their home opener and and then we have to follow it up with our home opener which is exciting for any teams. "
Puck drop from Dauphin at 7:30PM MB time.
Other games on the opening night schedule include Portage at Virden, Winnipeg Blues visit Selkirk, Neepawa entertains Winkler and the league's newest franchise, the Winnipeg Freeze play their first ever game against the Steinbach Pistons.
Audio with Waywayseecappo Wolverines Head Coach and GM Taylor Harnett
Audio with Swan Valley Stampeders Head Coach/GM Barry Wolff