The Muskie boys’ hockey team will see its first game action of the season this weekend in Dryden.
The black-and-gold are eager to get back into their first game situation since the all-Ontarios this spring, and head coach Shawn Jourdain is excited to get his first look at the team in action.
He said it’s difficult to pin down exactly what the team looks like through practice alone.
“It’s really hard to tell ’til we start playing games,” Jourdain stressed. “Practices have been not bad, so far.
“As always, at the beginning of the year, it’s lots of work,” he added.
Jourdain is proud of the group he has assembled, but reiterated that until the puck drops, there’s not much beyond speculation that can be said about the team.
“Really, it’s hard to tell where we’re going to be strong,” he remarked.
“We have six really nice [defencemen] and four pretty good lines up front.”
Jourdain plans to treat this weekend’s tournament as much of a learning experience as anything, hoping to see his players’ responses to as many different situations as possible.
“We’re going to put the kids in situations and see where they’re at,” he explained.
“It’s more or less a chance for us to find out where we’re at as a team, and find out what each player can and cannot do.
“They’ll be all over the place, and we’ll just take it from there and see how things go,” he reasoned.
The Muskies will be challenged early as they’re set to square off against the St. John’s-Ravenscourt Eagles from Winnipeg, who traditionally trend towards the top of the league standings.
“Every year they’re pretty strong,” said Jourdain. “We’ll get a good gauge of where we are against them.”
As well, the squad competing in Dryden isn’t quite the complete version as a handful of members have other athletic commitments at this point in the year.
“We’re missing four kids right now with volleyball and football,” Jourdain noted.
“Until they come back, we’re kind of in the dark.
“They play the other sports, and once they’re done, then they can come and join us.
“We won’t see them until November,” he added. “We won’t get to see what the whole team looks like until we get everybody back.”
After this weekend’s tournament, the Muskies will play another in Morden, Man. on Nov. 19-20 before opening the NorWOSSA regular season Nov. 23 in Dryden.
Fort High will see its first home action of the season when those same Eagles come to town Dec. 7.