After starting the season on a two game road swing, the Prince Albert Predators will play their first home game of the year on Saturday night when they welcome the Swift Current Wolverines to Kinsmen Arena.
“I know the boys are excited to play,” head coach Tyson Fetch said. “There’s about 16 guys on this team who have never played in front of a crowd of 400, maybe 500 people. We’re hoping to draw that many people, maybe even more. They’re pretty excited to get this game going.”
The Predators had their first game of the season cut short against the Standing Buffalo Fighting Sioux on April 30. The game was called off in the second period due to a lack of floor traction. They had a game the very next day in Regina, and were able to beat the Barracudas by an 11-8 final for their first official win of the season.
Now with some game experience under their belts, Fetch thinks that will help to calm some of the nerves that playing the first home game of the year might bring.
“I know there are some nerves, there always are,” he said. “I think starting off on the road does help with the nerves a little bit. Just getting those four periods that we had of lacrosse was good for us. It introduced those younger players to the game, and to the level of lacrosse that this is. I think that helped to calm their nerves, and now they know that they can play at this level.”
The team held two practices this week in preparation for their game against the Wolverines on Saturday. Swift Current is off to a 2-1 start to their season. They began the year on a two game homestand, first falling to the Saskatoon Jr. Swat 10-5 on April 22, and then beating the Regina Barracudas 15-8 on April 29. Their most recent game was an 8-3 triumph over the Fighting Sioux on May 1.
Fetch knows his Predators group will have to be sharp against their opponent on Saturday, but thinks they will be ready for the challenge.
“This week we had two good practices,” he said. “We’ve worked on a few things that we’ve needed to tighten up from the last two games that we played. I think they’re ready to go by ball drop.
“We’ve been putting some focus on our powerplay. We have to score every time we get a powerplay, there’s no question about it. We have seven guys that can score goals, so we need to score every time. If we do that, the other team plays a little differently, because they don’t want to take penalties. We’ve also been working on our fast break and defending the fast break. We didn’t do a very good job of that against Regina, and I know Swift Current is a well coached team and they have a lot of skill. They’re going to try to pick us apart there, but I think we did a good job of prepping the boys for that.”
Saturday’s game will have an opening ceremony before the action. Magician Roger Boucher will be performing during the intermission, and there will also be prizes to be won.
Kids 12 and under get in free. Tickets for anyone over the age of 12 is just $5.
Opening faceoff is set for 6 p.m.