The Lloydminster PWM Steelers are getting ready to duke it out on the ice once again, as the Alberta Female Hockey League announces a return to play.
Exhibition games will begin for the U18 AAA division on October 17th, with the regular season kicking off October 30th. For the U15 AA divisions, exhibition games start on October 30th with the regular-season following on November 30th. The season, which has been newly modified to follow COVID-19 guidelines, has a few changes in place this year.
Now, teams in the U18 AAA leagues and the U15AA have been broken up into North/South Divisions. Teams will play six games against a team in their division and four in the other division. All series in the six-team league will be broken up by a two week development time, after which teams move on to the next series.
Steelers U18 AAA Coach Morgan Mann says while this is not a normal way they’d play, the team has been spending extra time training and are prepared to adapt.
“Oh, we’re very excited to get started. It’s gone very well, and the team has made the most of what our situation is this year, and the girls are excited, and can’t wait to get started.”
The Steelers will play their first exhibition game in a series against the Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs on October 17th, that game being an away one. The team will then return home for the next game in the series on October 24th. From there, they will have a week’s break before the regular season, starting with four games also against Red Deer.
Mann explains that they’ll be facing a challenge in their first games, but notes that the Steelers are looking forward to it because nothing allows for learning and skill development like actual games.
“Our league is very competitive. Most games for whoever you play is a one or two goal difference, so they’re close and usually very competitive. So sometimes you’ve got to have a few breaks go your way, but Red Deer’s always a tough team, and each game is a challenge.”
The Steelers first home game is at 2 PM October 24th at the Servus Sports Centre Rusway Arena, and a full schedule can be found on the PWM Steelers website.