The U18 AAA Kenora Thistles are set to take the ice for their home opener tonight against the Brandon Wheat Kings.

There has been a lot of buzz in the dressing room and amongst the players for tonight’s match-up.

“I think everybody’s really fired up here. This year I’m really expecting these kids to excel cause I think we have a really solid team here,” said Thistles Head Coach Scott Parsons.

Going into this weekend’s duo of games against the Wheat Kings Parsons is looking for the players to compete.

“It’s going to be our first game together as a group, and we’re kind of jumping into the regular season. We’re going to have to work out some kinks, but I think we have a very capable group of players this year. Based on what I’ve seen at practice I feel everybody’s been working pretty well together,” says Parsons

This will be the first time the team has played in the Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey League since the 2019-2020 season. Last year the team was forced to play in Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I feel it’s really important to get these kids back to playing against kids in their own age group. I feel like we did a decent job last year playing in a junior league,” added Parsons.

Parsons added he hasn’t seen or heard much about what to expect from the Wheat Kings this weekend, but he wants the Thistles to play their game and let them dictate the pace.

The puck drop tonight will be at 7:30 p.m. CDT, and tomorrow’s game will be a matinee starting at 1:30 p.m. CDT. Both games are at the Keewatin Memorial Arena.

Only 75 admission tickets are available due to COVID-19 protocols.

This will the first of four meetings between the two clubs this season. Kenora will travel to Brandon for a weekend double-header on October 23, and 24, 2021.

Six out of the first seven games will be home games for the Thistles to start the season.

The Thistles full team roster has been released and can be found here.