Regals prepare for really first test

The Powell River Regals are anything but game-tested as they prepare to tangle with the Bentley Generals in tonight’s 7:30 p.m. opening contest of the McKenzie Cup senior AAA hockey series at the Red Deer Arena.

The Powell River Regals are anything but game-tested as they prepare to tangle with the Bentley Generals in tonight’s 7:30 p.m. opening contest of the McKenzie Cup senior AAA hockey series at the Red Deer Arena.

However, while the Regals have been inactive this season and are engaging the Generals in the best-of-five set at the request of BC Hockey, they’ve arrived in Red Deer with a nice mix of talent and experience.

Generals head coach Ryan Tobler certainly isn’t making his club the prohibitive favourite to win the series and advance to the Allan Cup tournament April 14-19 at Dundas, Ont.

“We’re going to prepare like they have the best players available, which they could have,” said Tobler. “It’s been done before. You throw a group like that together and it’s like a trip to the Allan Cup, right? All you have to do is win three games.

“I’m sure that’s their mentality, but we’re standing in their way and we’re going to be ready for whatever they bring. No excuses.”

The Regals accepted the McKenzie Cup challenge despite not playing as a team this season.

The organization, instead, is focusing on resurfacing next season as a AA club that would play exhibition games against northern B.C. teams involved in two separate AA leagues.

One of those teams is the Fort St. John Flyers, who like the Regals have almost always played at the AAA level, but this season decided to drop down a notch which made them ineligible to engage in Allan Cup play.

The Regals have a solid nucleus of players who have been with the club for the past eight years and the current edition of the three-time Allan Cup champions (1996, 2000 and 2006) is a skilled, free-wheeling group minus the physical presence of the Generals.

Tobler’s club will be favoured to move on mainly for the fact the Generals are the defending Allan Cup champions. And the bench boss is focused strictly on his team as Game 1 of the series approaches.

“We’re just going to prepare ourselves, worry about ourselves and how we play no matter who they (Regals) bring in, and that’s all you can do,” said Tobler.

“We’re not going to change anything. We’re going to play the right way and let them know they’ll be in a series right from the get-go.”

The Regals might need a game or two to get into game shape.

Then again, they’re coming into the series minus the bumps and bruises of the Generals, who have played at least games this season, including a rough-and-tumble four-game sweep of the Innisfail Eagles in the recent Alberta final.

“You never know what to expect in a short competition where almost everything goes out the window,” said Tobler. “They have a GM (Tod English) who has a ton of experience and who has won three Allan Cups. He knows what he’s doing and what it takes.

“We’ll prepare ourselves the right way and be ready for the first game.”

The second game of the series is set for Friday at 8:30 p.m., with Game 3 Saturday at 3 p.m.

Fourth and fifth games, if necessary, will be played at 7:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday.

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Driver who backed into Red Deer pizzeria sentenced

David Andrew Amstutz sentenced for failing to remain at the crash scene

Shaw getting ready to raise prices for its main residential service, CEO says

CALGARY — Residential customers of Shaw Communications Inc. will likely see a… Continue reading

Inflation accelerates as higher airfares, vegetable prices offset cheaper gas

OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation rate accelerated to two per cent last… Continue reading

Alberta couple wants cash and charges dropped in meningitis death of their son

CALGARY — An Alberta couple facing a second trial in the meningitis… Continue reading

Moose Jaw wants to challenge Norway for tallest moose statue title

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — The City of Moose Jaw, Sask., is on… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Canadian tattoo artist inks Toronto skyline on Blue Jays pitcher Stroman

Marcus Stroman found a way to show his appreciation for Toronto when… Continue reading

Team World sweeps opening day against Team North America at Continental Cup

LAS VEGAS — Team North America has some serious ground to make… Continue reading

SXSW to screen ‘Run This Town,’ which includes Rob Ford character

TORONTO — A drama that features a portrayal of the late Toronto… Continue reading

Fans buy ‘Little House on the Prairie’ star’s memorabilia

GENOA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — More than 200 items belonging to “Little House… Continue reading

Paying down debt should be priority for low income workers, say experts

TORONTO — Investment planning can often be seen as a luxury for… Continue reading

Russian fighter jets collide over Sea of Japan crews eject

One plane crashed after its crew ejected safely, the other crew also ejected but they have not been found

Judge to deliver verdict in British sailor’s gang rape case

The alleged gang rape took place at a Halifax-area military base in 2015

Most Read