— ChrisD.ca (@ChrisDca) October 12, 2016
WINNIPEG — The Manitoba Bisons are hoping a successful 7-2 record in the pre-season will help secure their first season-opening win since 2011-12 on Friday night.
“We’re very pleased, as a coaching staff, how the team is progressing and how it’s coming together early in the season,” said head coach Mike Sirant earlier this week.
Sirant and his squad will host the Mount Royal Cougars to open the 2016-17 Canada West season in front of a hometown crowd at the Wayne Fleming Arena.
“We’re still a young team by Canada West standards,” Sirant said of the 10 first-years on his roster.
“But we do have more guys that are getting into their second and third year. So from last year, we have more experience as a group as our veteran players are gaining another year of experience.”
In the annual conference coaches’ poll, Manitoba is ranked fourth after finishing last season 13-13-2. In a best-of-three playoff series, the Bisons lost 2-1 to Calgary at home.
Returning veterans include third-year Jordan DePape, second-year defenceman Adam Henry and forward Brett Stovin.
Puck drop at Wayne Fleming is 7 p.m. Friday. The two teams will meet again on Saturday at 1 p.m.