We will be previewing some of the teams competing at the upcoming 2022 Centennial Cup. First up, the Red Lake Miners:
The Red Lake Miners will represent the Superior International Junior Hockey League at the national championship after defeating the Kam River Walleye in six games in the SIJHL finals.
2001-born forward and captain Ryan Howe led the way with 20 points in just 12 playoff games.
"We're an offensive team...we have a lot of weapons up front, but we also have some depth up front too and that kind of saw us through that run that we went on," said head coach Geoff Walker.
The team also dealt with some adversity off the ice, including an extended COVID-19 shutdown, and some travel issues.
"The highway (into Red Lake) kind of washed out in different parts," Walker said. "But I think we've got it figured out now...we're going to fly to Winnipeg and then bus into Estevan (Tuesday). Not ideal but it's pretty par for the course for the way that this season went for us."
Walker added that their rink chiller broke and the team was without ice for about seven weeks.
"Those were some trying times, but you know credit to our boys, they struck to it, and I think it actually helped us as we went on that run there," he said.
As for the Centennial Cup? You never know until you get there, Walker said.
"We haven't played these teams. You can watch on video kind of all you want but until you kind of see them up close and see what you're up against, you don't really know right? So for us we're just kind of focusing on our preparation...making sure that we're as ready as we can be," Walker said.
Red Lake will be in Group A alongside the Brooks Bandits, Pickering Panthers, College Francais de Longueuil, and the host Estevan Bruins. Their opening game is the first game of the tournament against Pickering on Thursday at noon.