The Prince Albert Northern Bears are looking to head into the holiday break on a high note.
The Bears will wrap up their first half of the season with a home-and-home set with the Saskatoon Stars this weekend, Saturday night at the Art Hauser Centre and Sunday night in Warman.
Bears head coach Steve Young says the team is having a couple of special promotions at the Saturday game.
“It’s a weekend heading into the Christmas break. It’ll be exciting that way. We’re going to have the teddy bear toss. That goes toward good charities. They’ve also invited a lot of the alumni back for the game. So it’ll be some excitement there in the rink for sure.”
The Northern Bears are expecting upwards of 20 alumni to be in attendance for the game. Young says it’s always special to see former players return to watch the team play.
“I think it’s important. They put their time in here in Prince Albert and helped develop the Bear organization. I think it’s good for them to come back and see some old friends and also see how the organization continues to go. It’s very important that we recognize those people. They put their time in here, and I think it’s great for them.”
It’s been an exciting year for Northern Bear alumni as both Brooke Hobson (New York) and Caitlin Willoughby (Toronto) have both been named to preseason rosters in the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL).
With Prince Albert also hosting the Esso Cup earlier this year, Young says it is great to see more opportunities for female hockey players.
“I think it’s been very good. It’s starting to really grow. I think in all areas, you’re starting to see the growth in more teams, more professional teams, more former players doing stuff with hockey organizations. The female part of it is really growing. And I think it’s a great time for people to jump on and be a part of it.”
Looking ahead to their opponent this weekend, the Saskatoon Stars currently sit in second place in the Saskatchewan Female U18 AAA Hockey League (SFU18AAAHL) standings with a 7-2-2-1 record.
Young says the Bears have confidence going into the game.
“They put together a good club and they work hard, they have success. With everything going on, we still have to remember that it’s important that we were prepared to play this hockey club. We’re going to have to work, we’re going to have to do a lot of good things, but we believe we’re capable of doing that to make the outcome come the way we want it.
Puck drops between the Bears and Stars at 7 p.m. on Saturday night.