The Kenora U18 AAA Thistles practiced together as a team for the first time on Thursday (September 2, 2021) night at the Keewatin Memorial Arena.

Thistles head coach Scott Parsons was happy for the team to get onto the ice and see for himself where each player is at in their development.

“It was good, I just wanted to get all the boys together again here, together as a team for the first time, kind of seeing what we're working with fully now that we’ve essentially made the roster at this point,” said Parsons

“It’s good to just get the guys out on the ice again. A couple of the guys are heading out to junior camps this weekend too, so I thought that it would be good for some of those kids to get some ice time as well,” added Parsons

Parsons noted that in preparation for the start of the season he will be implementing additional practices, and dryland training to prepare the players for the level of the league.

“I’m just trying to get these kids' minds wrapped around being able to play at the U18 AAA level. For some of them, it's going to be a step up but I’d like to be able to make sure the kids are bringing the intensity that’s needed in our practices so they can be successful in the games,” says Parsons

The Thistles bench boss is confident that it won’t take long for the players to come together. To enhance that team bond, Parsons will be adding in some team-building exercises in the coming weeks.

The Thistles will kick off their Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey League schedule on September 25, 2021, with back-to-back games against the Brandon Wheat Kings.

The Thistles full 2021-2022 schedule can be found HERE.