National Jr. A hockey championship kicks off Saturday in Brooks

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It’s been a long time coming for the Brooks Bandits.

But after years of hard paintings getting ready each on and rancid the ice to host the National Jr. A Championship, dubbed the RBC Cup, it’s going to kick off Saturday night in Brooks.

“From an organizational point of view, it’s been two years inside the making, so there’s quite a few human beings on this community which have put in quite a few time and effort,” said Bandits head train Ryan Papaioannou, who this week became nominated for Canadian Junior Hockey League train of the yr. “It’s fine to see all their efforts come to fruition.

“From a training aspect, we’re excited, we’re geared up to play. Our guys, I assume, had been bored all week training just searching forward to getting at the ice (Saturday) night.”

The match will function the cream of the crop when it comes to Jr. A talent in Canada.

While the Bandits play host and constitute the Alberta Junior Hockey League, they will be visited by using four other groups.

Representing the British Columbia Hockey League is the Prince George Spruce Kings, while the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Portage Terriers will also be there.

 

From the Ontario Junior Hockey League is the Oakville Blades with the Central Canada Hockey League’s Ottawa Jr. Senators coming in tow.

At least this kind of teams is a familiar face – that being the Spruce Kings, who the Bandits squared off in opposition to remaining weekend in the Doyle Cup.

It changed into an affair that noticed the BCHL champion Spruce Kings defeat the Bandits in six video games.

“When you get championship groups, expectancies go out the window and you’ve got to get out on the ice and play,” said Papaioannou of the collection. “I thought they were exceptional in their building, I notion we have been quite desirable in ours. We struggled up there, we had no solution for their depth and their speed. The oddity turned into when we were in Brooks is we had a solution for all that stuff. It’ll be fun to peer them again.

“I suppose throughout the yr I don’t assume we confronted sufficient adversity, to be able to lose lower back-to-again video games for the first time all year (in the Doyle Cup) and then to lose three video games in a row, I don’t see it as a huge terrible. I think it’s going to be a big-time advantageous if we use it as a mastering enjoy. Or we will take it the opposite manner and let the losing keep. I assume our guys are clever sufficient to comprehend it’s all championships teams here and we’ve got to be true.”

Looking beforehand to the RBC Cup, the Bandits are going to be seeking to re-ignite some of their offensive prowess that helped make them one of the nice seasons in AJHL records; it changed into a yr that saw them publish a regular-season record of fifty seven-3, becoming the primary crew to ever file fifty seven wins and 112 points inside the AJHL, all the even as placing a brand new league document with a 33-game everyday-season win streak.

“I assume we’re going to want to begin getting scoring from all of our lines again,” said Papaioannou. “Throughout the year we scored at a pretty excessive clip and we did simply first-class within the playoffs. In the Prince George series there, they are a very good protective team and we genuinely got scoring from one line consistently and that’s it. It’s pretty hard to win with one line scoring and I suppose that’s the huge key — every body getting their offence again feeling appropriate.”

Game one of the RBC Cup will see the Jr. Senators and the Terriers rectangular off Saturday afternoon at 2 p.M., even as the Bandits play their first game in opposition to the Blades at 7 p.M. That night.

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