The Estevan Bears will strive to get back in the win column this week after dropping their first two games of the season over the weekend.
The Bears Triple A hockey team lost 4-1 and 5-1 to Warman.
"Coming against a strong, hard team like Warman is was a real good eye opener for some of these kids," said head coach Jeff Smith. "It's disappointing to lose those two games, but at the same time it was a real good learning experience and stepping stone for our kids."
The Bears have a younger group this year, with only six players who have previous Triple-A experience.
The Bears will travel to Moose Jaw for a road game on Wednesday evening. Smith said that game will be another challenge.
"They're a big, mean, fast strong team," he said. "They're a lot older, a lot of them are the 17-year-olds. So they've got a lot of experience so we're going to have to be at the top of our game and kind of just chip away at them and use our speed against their size."
Smith said he and his group were ecstatic to get back on the ice for regular season hockey following the cancelled season last year.
"Every day they come to the rink in the early morning and they're excited to be here and they're excited to get on the ice, so it's good to see that they still have that excitement in them after the last couple years of a half season one year and not a season last year."
As for the challenges of the pandemic, Smith says his group is managing it as best they can.
"We talk about it probably once a week within the team," he said. "We all understand that we have to do this. We just have to follow the rules right now. The older group and the captains, I relay to them what we need to do. They're a pretty self-sufficient group of kids. I ask for something they go do it. They're good-hearted kids and they all follow the rules and they all help out and pitch in as much as they can."