It's practice number two tonight in the Cochrane Generals Jr. 'B' team's preseason selection camp. With 35 prospects lacing up, the coaching staff will be facing some tough choices.

Head coach Travis McMillan says groundwork that started with a summer camp and six months of recruitment is paying off for the Heritage Junior Hockey League (HJHL) team and is having the trickle-down effect they were seeking.

"The rookies are looking pretty good," says McMillan. "There's some talent and fresh faces out there, so we're looking forward to the next couple of weeks."

He also anticipates even more players will step forward after the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) teams have completed their cuts.

Aiding the selection process is a series of four exhibition games. This weekend they play a home-and-home exhibition series against the Mountainview Colts. Given the close matchups between these two teams in recent years, it’s a good way to kick tires.

"There's a lot of players to pick and choose from and obviously having two games against the same team back-to-back, you can fill roster spots different each night, which is a good thing."

"We had a couple of good battles with the Colts last year. I really did admire the grittiness of their team last season so if they bring the same mentality into this exhibition game that they had last season it will be a good test for our rookies."

Clearly, the Gens will have a new look this season with a number of players aging out or moving on.

The Gens are losing four veterans in d-men captain Austin Keller and Will Gretton as well as perennial scorers Talus Hume and Slater Ransom They also have lost previously-named captain Colton Wong, who has accepted a job in the oil patch as a firefighter in Northern Alberta, as well as the high-scoring Jarod Domingo.

The goaltending tandem of Knute Loe and Eric Garber are also both in Ontario for tryouts.

Still, McMillan likes the opportunity junior hockey offers players to move forward in their careers or to pursue academic studies, as in the case of Gretton, who has recently made the cut for the SAIT Trojans.

"One of my main goals as a junior 'B' hockey coach is to promote our players past playing at this level. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to doing that near the end of the season this year moreso than last year."

He also regrets the loss of Wong but also knows being a firefighter is a career he has been pursuing. He says he'll have a spot for Wong as an overage player should he be able to return late in the season.

"I would do that in a heartbeat, for sure."

The Gens play in Olds on Saturday, Sept. 8 and return to Cochrane on Sunday, Sept. 9. Game time is 4:30 p.m. at the Gens’ new home at the Cochrane Arena, 609 4 Ave. N.

They host the Airdrie Techmation Thunder on Saturday, Sept. 15 for their final home game of the preseason.

They open the regular season at home on Sept. 29 against the Mountainview Colts.

Billeting May Be Required

While McMillan says the Gens build the team around graduating Cochrane minor hockey players, they also get interested from out-of-town players and may need places for them to billet during the tryout period.

In particular, players cut from AJHL teams are eager to tryout here and one such goaltender is already in camp from Fort McMurray.

"This speaks volumes about Cochrane and to our organization," says McMillan.

Those who are interested in providing billets or seek more information can contact McMillan at 403-970-7147 or email [email protected].

More Sports News

More Than Hardware for Trinity Taekwon-do Competitors

Trinity Taekwon-do athletes walked away with more than just a large collection of hardware this past weekend (November 10 and 11) In total, twenty-seven individuals competed, including Cameron…

Cochrane Curler off to Canada Winter Games

Cochrane curler Julianna MacKenzie is heading to the Canada Winter Games to represent Alberta as part of Team Bakos after a close final against Team Cinnamon, of Cochrane. The Bakos team, based out…

Super Friday Nets Cochrane High Three Volleyball Titles

How often do you get a chance to claim multiple divisional championships in one day? For Cochrane High volleyball teams it happened Friday, Nov. 9. The Cochrane Cobras won three divisional volleyball…

Cobras Stage Second Half Comeback to Advance

Brooks is the next stop on the road in tier 3 provincial high school playoffs for the Cochrane Cobras. On Nov. 10, the Cobras proved why they are the #1 ranked team in tier 3 high school football…

Head to Calgary to Cheer on Our Local Taekwon-do Athletes

You can head into Calgary today (November 11) to help cheer on our local Taekwon-do athletes. The C.T.F.I. National Championships will begin at 8 this morning at Genesis Centre in Calgary and is not…

Overtime Goes in Okotoks Favour Against Gens

If it wasn’t clear before, it is now. One-third into the season, each win is a battle in the south division of the Heritage Junior Hockey League (HJHL) that is showing a fair amount of parity. Point…

Water Ninjas Kick Off Season with Warmup Meet

The Cochrane Water Ninjas have kicked off their competitive season with a fun mini-meet against the Calgary Poseidons, Nov. 4. The event was a chance to warm up for the many meets ahead and to help…

Solid Play by All Four Lines Leads to Huge 10-2 Win

When the song “Take Me Home, Country Roads” blasts from the Gens dressing room, you can’t help but feel it’s a been a good night. The team has been able to play the song loud and proud of late and…

Cochrane Cowboys Kick Off Wrestling Season

The Cochrane Cowboys Wrestling Club has kicked off its season and continues to attract a growing number of members. Head coach Vern McNeice says the club is in a healthy state and is transitioning as…

The Unshakeable Team Spirit of the Bow Valley Bobcats

There was a buzz on the Bobcats bench during their last game of the season. It was that same charged atmosphere they’ve had all season. This was a team that displayed a genuine and unshakeable team… is Cochrane's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide