The Fort St. John Senior AAA Flyers may have a few North Peace Hockey League games under their belts, but they have yet to play another AAA team – that will change this weekend.
On Saturday morning at 7 a.m. the Flyers will hit the road to head to Bentley, Alberta where they’ll play the Generals in two back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday.
The Generals, who are set to host the 2013 Allan Cup, will be a good test for the Flyers as they look to gauge where they’re at so far this season.
“They’ve played some games already,” said Flyers head coach Darrel Leahy on Thursday. “They were in Saskatchewan last weekend playing some AAA games so they have a few more under their belt than us.”
“I feel good,” he added about the weekend. “It looks like we’re going to have a full lineup and we’re looking forward to it and seeing where we’re at. We’re gauging ourselves.”
The Flyers are undefeated at 3-0 so far in their NPHL season while the Generals are 3-1 in the Chinook Hockey League. On paper the teams seem pretty evenly matched and both have a long history with each other, but it won’t be until Saturday night when the Flyers can determine what they’re up against later in the AAA season.
“Obviously we want to have a good showing, a great effort and come away with a positive outlook on the rest of the season and look forward to their return [to Fort St. John] in February,” Leahy said.
“I don’t expect a lot of fighting. I expect it to be physical like it always is. We usually start out more physical than them, then they respond.”
As a team that has been in the Allan Cup for the past few years, Leahy knows that the Generals “have a good idea of what they need to compete at AAA” and hopes his squad can determine if they have it as well.
The Flyers will be hosting the 2013 Savage Cup this year, with a good chance of moving on and going to the Allan Cup in Red Deer. It will be an exciting season, Leahy said, and this weekend against Bentley should be a preview of what’s to come.
January 5 and 6 the Bentley Generals will come to Fort St. John to play the Flyers on home ice. Leahy and the team are hoping for a good crowd turnout for the AAA matchup.
“There’s no lockout in the North Peace Senior Hockey League. The boys are here to play so come and watch them,” he said.
The puck drops in Bentley on Saturday at 7 p.m.