The St. Paul Jr B Canadiens will have some special guests during tonight’s first period intermission, players from Initiation Hockey. Initiation is for players under seven and was developed by Hockey Canada as a way to introduce kids to the sport and focus the fundamentals. Head Coach for the St. Paul Canadiens, Joe Young, says the team really enjoys supporting these young stars in the making.
“We did it last weekend too, it was pretty cool. It was a great crowd and we expecting tonight will be even more,” Young says Initiation is in for a real treat tonight as the Saddle Lake Warriors are in town, which are one of the Canadiens’ top rivals. “Naturally, because we’re so close there’s a rivalry going. We enjoy playing them.” Young expects a packed barn.
There’s been a really great atmosphere at the rink this season, community spirit has been strong, and has had a lot of impact on the club. “We get the best fan support in the league, and we try to give back to the community, as much as possible by putting our time back in,” says Young. The Canadiens are having their best season in years. “It’s been a really good relationship between us and the fans.”
The Canadiens are third in the standings with 42 points, their record is 21-10-0, with only five games left until playoffs. “Obviously, this time of year, you don’t want to start making bad mistakes or play sloppy hockey,” Young says the club is focused on the post-season, “it’s the time of year you want to peak. Playing hard for 60 and
doing the little things. In a couple weeks the real season starts.”
After making the post-season for the first time in years, the Canadiens lost in game 7 of the first round last year. Young says there’s an expectation in town to take it further this year, “there’s always an expectation. Us, as a coaching staff, have a higher expectation. We feel we have a team that can go a long ways, we know if we work hard and the guys put in the effort and have a little chemistry together we can go far. We picked up a couple new guys at the deadline (January 10th) and they’ve stepped up and been a big help to us.”
Coming off a 9-5 win Wednesday night in Vegreville, the Canadiens are ready to take on the Saddle Lake Warriors in front of the home crowd tonight at 8:00 pm. WIN tickets on LCN.