A three game road trip might not sound like a long time away from home, but it’s been that way for the Prince Albert Northern Bears
The Bears haven’t played a game at the Art Hauser Centre since Oct. 30. That changes Saturday when they welcome the Notre Dame Hounds in their third meeting of the season.
It has been a welcome home party of sorts over the last few days, in light of the Esso Cup re-launch ceremony that was held on Thursday. Bears captain Paige Dawson took some time to reflect on the long two year journey to bring the biggest female hockey tournament to Prince Albert.
“It was awesome to hear,” Dawson said. “It was good to have reassurance. We said we would have it over the past two years but it was exciting to know that we would for sure have it this year.”
Dawson is in her fourth and final season with the team, and is the only current player to be on the roster for that long. She has seen teammates come and go, and recognizes how much the team has changed over the last three seasons.
“Our team is completely different. Back then I was pretty young, and now we have a new team. I think it’ll be good for everybody and a great opportunity for the young girls.”
Dawson also talked about their upcoming game against the Notre Dame Hounds on Saturday, and how nice playing a game at home will be.
“It’s nice to be back in our home rink,” she said. “Travelling is pretty hard when you don’t have the fans that you normally do. We’re super excited and we’ve been working hard, and hopefully we can get the outcome we want this weekend.”
Prince Albert travelled to Notre Dame during their road trip for a pair of games on Nov. 13 and 14. While the Bears came out on the losing end 6-1 and 5-2 in those games, Dawson expects a bounce back game from her team this weekend.
“I think we’ve been doing good overall. Just some bounces haven’t gone our way or the odd goal happened here or there, but I think we’ll do pretty good this weekend. We just have to work as a team and want to score.”
The Bears were bit by the goal bug during their road swing, scoring three goals in three games. After being shutout by the Regina Rebels in their most recent game last Saturday, they will hope some home cooking is the recipe for success this weekend.
Puck drop from the Art Hauser Centre on Saturday is at 1:30pm.
Prince Albert has five games left before the Christmas break, with four of them at home.