The Elmira Sugar Kings were back on the ice this week, ramping up for the 2022-23 season.
The team will have a decidedly different look than the one that captured top spot in the GOJHL’s Midwestern Conference with a record of 35-11-1-1. The Kings advanced through the first two rounds of the playoffs before falling to Cambridge in the third series on May 12.
Head coach Rob Collins says he’s expected just half a dozen players back from that squad.
A young team last season, the Kings will likelier be younger still in the upcoming campaign.
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Fans can get a sneak preview of the shape of things to come by taking in a “White vs. Green” game Friday night at the WMC. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. The teams will be a mix of this year’s Kings and local prospects.
The match will be run like a regular game, said Collins.
“It’ll be a good opportunity for current players or future players – and guys trying to be future players – to showcase their stuff in front of the home crowd,” he said.
The team is on the road Sunday for a preseason match against the Ayr Centennials. They’ll welcome the Caledon Bombers to town on August 26 at 7:30 p.m.
“I think we’ve got returning three forwards and three defenseman, so we’re going to have a brand new group. We’re going to be younger than last year’s group, which was already a young group. We’re kinda starting from square one, and we’ll see how it goes,” the coach added.
Management is currently in the process of establishing the roster ahead of the regular season, which opens September 8 when the Kings are in Ayr. The first home game is Septemer 8.