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Cold Lake Hornets preparing for home opener this weekend

The Cold Lake Hornets are excited about their first-ever home game.

The Western States Hockey League expansion team hits the ice for the first time in Cold Lake on Saturday night at the Energy Centre against the Meadow Lake Mustangs.

“We are super excited to show the home fans next week these players and we’ve got some local boys,” said Hornets head coach Steve Thomson.

“We’ve got some big strong D, we got some speedy forwards. And we got a couple of superstars that are very entertaining to watch.”

Bonnyville native Anson Smith, formerly of the Cold Lake Wings, is the local player on the team, while the US-based Junior A squad has outsourced talent from outside of Alberta.

“He’s a quality young man who is a quality hockey player and again, we’re excited to have our local players involved and taking a strong leadership role.

Thomson is especially high on Belarusian-born Yauheni Lavrov.

“It’s tough to keep my guys moving around him because they’re in such awe. He’s a premier player for the WSHL and we’re very excited and glad that he’s with us,” said Thomson.

Hornets drubbed in franchise’s first two games

The Hornets are off to a rocky start, however.

Cold Lake lost both games to the Barrhead Bombers in decisive fashion, losing 9-2 in the franchise’s first game, and 10-2 on Saturday night.

Anson Smith scored the team’s first-ever goal on Friday and has three of the four markers so far in the early-going.

Their active roster featured 12 skaters and three goaltenders on each game sheet last weekend.

“We’re expecting a few more additions going into next week,” said Thomson.

The Hornets will face the Edson Aeros, Hinton Timberwolves, Barrhead Bombers, and Meadow Lake Mustangs in regular-season play.

Home-and-home against Meadow Lake

The Hornets head to Meadow Lake on Friday before their home opener on Saturday night at 7:30pm.

“We’re just going to be focused on getting a good product set for the ice and be prepared. We have a better volunteer set up and get them through the motions. We want to get them to come through and have a really good experience, working with the people at the Energy Centre and the Game Time Grill and Booster Juice. We’re just working altogether so that everybody has a great fan experience,” said Thomson.