Thursday, September 17, 2009

SJHL set to open new season

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s 2009-10 regular season begins with a bang on Friday night with all twelve teams in action.

The defending and three time Credit Union Cup champion Humboldt Broncos will welcome the Notre Dame Hounds, who feature the only new coach in the league this season with Darren Evjen behind the bench.

The Yorkton Terriers will entertain the Weyburn Red Wings in what will be a first for the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League as it launches the SJHL Game Of The Week, broadcast live on the internet via Live Sports and re-broadcast on Thursday and Saturday on Access 7.
The Sherwood Conference champion Melville Millionaires will be at home to the Estevan Bruins with both teams featuring significant makeovers to their rosters in the wake of numerous graduations from the junior ranks a season ago.

In Melfort, the Mustangs play host to the Flin Flon Bombers in a game that will see the two teams that many feel will give the Broncos their stiffest test when it comes to dethroning them from atop the Bauer Conference (formerly Itech).

The promising Battlefords North Stars will be in Kindersley to face the Klippers. The Stars won just fifteen games last year, but pushed Humboldt to six games in the conference semi-finals and they return a bulk of the roster from a season ago.

The La Ronge Ice Wolves will be seeking a return to the playoffs after missing the postseason dance and they’ll begin their clean slate of a new season in Nipawin against the Hawks.

The 2009-10 SJHL regular season features the SJHL Hall Of Fame Game on October 9th when the Battlefords North Stars play in Weyburn. The inaugural weekend, which is sure to be one to remember, will see the loop induct five individuals with Ron Hextall and Chris Chelios entering via the player category and builders Wayne Kartusch, Ron Rumball, and Dwight McMillan also getting enshrined.

The World Junior ‘A’ Challenge Training Camp will be held September 27-30 in Okotoks. The actual event is being playedin Summerside, PEI from November 1-8.

The Showcase returns after a year hiatus with the North Stars acting as hosts for the weekend on November 26-28. The three days will see all twelve SJHL teams play in one SJHL center two times each. This will allow scouts from all walks of hockey life to check out what the league has to offer in talent.

The SJHL All-Star Game is Thursday, January 14th in Lanigan. For the second year in a row, it will be part of the Hockey Day In Saskatchewan Festival.The regular season comes to an end on February 23rd, with playoffs slated to begin on February 26th. Once again, the first round will see each conference’s fourth vs. fifth place team in a best of five Survivor Series; followed by the best of seven conference semi-finals, best of seven conference finals, and best of seven Credit Union Cup final. The SJHL champion will play the MJHL winner for the ANAVET Cup and the victor of that series heads to Dauphin, Manitoba to take part in the RBC Cup.

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