Just under 70 players will hit the ice on Wednesday afternoon as the Winkler Flyers get set to embark on their 38th season. Flyers Main Camp is expected to provide a lot of good competition, finishing up with the annual Intrasquad game on Saturday (September 2nd @ noon).
“We want to see some guys with a good work ethic and drive to beat out some of the other guys. We want to see the pace up high from the guys that are coming back, they know the standard and what we expect moving forward. They’re going to push the new guys to get to that level and help them out,” explained Flyers Head Coach and General Manager Ken Pearson.
The last two seasons Winkler have made it to the MJHL Semi-Final, and the Flyers are preparing for another solid season. With a number of graduating players from last years team comes a few new faces, and Pearson is happy with how the off-season went in terms of bringing in new players to help fill those vacancies.
“I think that our offseason went really well. We were able to fill some of the holes left by the guys who graduated,” said Pearson. “I think we are going to have some really good battles up front and on our blue line we’ve made a number of acquisitions and signed some players back there. We are just excited to get things going and see how things turn out.”
The team names represent four memorable Winkler Flyers alumni. Duane Derksen, Don Gibson, Jeff McGill and Colby Genoway. All four players were great players for the Flyers and all four also went on to receive NCAA Division I Scholarships.
The schedule for the 2017 Main Camp is as follows;
Wednesday, August 30th
Registration 1 (GIBSON) 1:30-2:00pm (Arena Lobby)
Practice 1 (GIBSON) 2:30pm
Registration 2 (DERKSEN) 2:30-3:00pm (Arena Lobby)
Practice 2 (DERKSEN) 3:30pm
Registration 3 (MCGILL) 3:30-4:00pm (Arena Lobby)
Practice 3 (MCGILL) 4:30pm
Registration 4 (GENOWAY) 4:30-5:00pm (Arena Lobby)
Practice 4 (GENOWAY) 5:30pm
Thursday, August 31st
Game 1: (GIBSON VS DERKSEN) 10:00am
Game 2: (MCGILL VS GENOWAY) 12:00pm
Game 3: (DERKSEN VS MCGILL) 3:30pm
Game 4: (GIBSON VS GENOWAY) 5:30pm
Friday, September 1st
Game 5: (GENOWAY VS DERKSEN) 10:00am
Game 6: (GIBSON VS MCGILL) 1:00pm
Saturday, September 2nd
Alumni Cup Intrasquad Game – 12pm (Free Admission)
Meanwhile, your first taste of pre-season action will be Tuesday, September 5th when the Winnipeg Blues come to the Winkler Recreation Complex for a 7:30 p.m. game.
Again this year the Flyers will be competing for the Goose Cup, with a home and home series with the Thief River Falls Norskies (SIJHL). Last year Winkler won the inaugural Goose Cup.