The Cannex Cochrane Generals will be playing their first exhibition game tonight, Sept. 2, marking their return to Totem One of the SLS Centre.
The junior club is hosting the Wetaskiwin Icemen at 6 p.m. in the first of a home-and-home series. Tickets are just $5 at the door for adults and children and seniors are free.
Since their successful training camp, the Gens have whittled down their roster in preparation for the game, but some cuts remain. All six of the overage players seeking one of the four positions available remain on the roster at this point.
Goalie coach Matt Greenwood says they've taken a different route this pre-season. Typically, they play teams from within the Heritage Junior Hockey League (HJHL).
"We tried to find some games at the skill level without creating any unnecessary rivalries before the season starts," he explains.
They warmed up last season against the Okotoks Bisons. That boiled over into some penalty-filled and heated confrontations early in the season until the league put its foot down.
"We're trying to find out what our team's got without showing off too much to the rest of the league, and perhaps catch them off guard a little bit."
The pre-season games will also help the club decide which of their four goalies will remain.
"We've got a lot of good goalies out of camp," says Greenwood. "We had 14 originally, and we're down to four heading into the weekend. We'll hopefully be able to narrow that down next week and see where we're at from there."
The Gens open their season on the road on Sept. 22 against the stiff competition of northern division rivals. Friday, Sept. 22, they face the Mountainview Colts, then the Red Deer Vipers the following night.
The home opener for their 40th season is Sept. 30 against the Airdrie Techmation Thunder.
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