The Lloydminster Bobcats will finally begin their regular season after many months of uncertainty.
The Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) regular season will be starting on November 13 after a release that was sent out on October 29.
“It’s been a long time coming as far as the waiting game of what’s next and now getting the official word is exciting,” said Head Coach Nigel Dube.
“Our guys are definitely excited to get things going with games that are going to count.”
There will be a divisional format with a South Division and a North Division with the Bobcats falling under the North.
The Cats do not have a schedule yet, however, they should have word within the week.
Dube mentioned his players have been working extremely hard on and off the ice to gear up for the moment they would get to play a regular season.
“We’re obviously going through a developmental season. We were able to get some games in there with one opponent and use that time to develop our skills and work on the tactical side of the game as well. Moving forward, being able to play multiple games within a cohort will be huge for the league.”
There are plenty of reasons why having a regular season is important, but Dube noted his players need the games for their future as well.
“A lot of our players are definitely looking to pursue NCAA or Canadian college after junior hockey. I think it shows the importance of what these games are when some of these schools are watching on Hockey TV and making sure you’re performing the best for yourself and for the team.”
The Bobcats wrapped up their previous series of exhibition games against the Sherwood Park Crusaders finishing with one win and five losses.
In the AJHL release, it was noted that exhibition games will continue through to November 8.
The Bobcats have three more pre-season games on the docket this week to kick up the dust and ramp up the energy before the regular season.
“That will kind of be the final tune up before regular season kicks off so it’s an exciting time for that as well,” said Dube.
The first game of the week will be on Tuesday against the Camrose Kodiaks in Viking.
A local rivalry will kick off this weekend with games against the Bonnyville Pontiacs in Lloydminster on Friday and in Bonnyville on Saturday.
Teams and rinks will be following Alberta Health regulations.
Arena capacity limits, social distancing protocols in facilities, and ticket sales will be decided by the regulations by each team and community.
League Passes will not be accepted until facility capacity limits are significantly increased by the health authorities.