The Edson – Hinton rivalry continues this fall in the Provinces Division of the Western States Hockey League (WSHL) but the name and the team has changed.
The Provinces Division will consist of the Hinton Timberwolves, the Aeros, the Barrhead Bombers, a new team, the Cold Lake Hornets and the Meadow Lake Mustangs.
Aeros Owner and General Manager Axel Axmann is excited about the 2019-20 season.
“We’ve added one [team] to the mix, which is great. I’m a firm believer in let’s do it slow, right and carry on,” said Axmann.
“Most of the WSHL divisions typically have five or six teams.”
Last year’s interlocking schedule between American based teams will return but on a smaller scale. Instead of nearly half a dozen teams coming to the region to play Edson, two clubs, the Seattle Totems and the Bellingham Blazers will play the Aeros in a home and home series. The games will occur in October and November.
Fans will also enjoy new intermission features. Shoot to win, sponsored by Midwest Glass and Chuck a Puck, sponsored by Fountain Tire. In the latter, fans will shoot for gift certificates from Original Joes and Jensen Lifestyle Clothing.
The main Aeros training camp is scheduled for Repsol Place, Sept. 3 to 6. The camp will feature two-a-day on ice sessions, plus an intra squad game on the Friday.
Axmann said the club will welcome back many returning players, but one of those won’t be goaltender Liam Austin. The latter will be playing university hockey in Michigan. This means that the Aeros will be looking for a new number one goalie. Axmann said the team will have a real solid look at main camp.
“Six goaltenders will be coming to camp. It is an open competition and I told them all they’d better come ready to compete because we are taking the top three. I don’t care who they are, the top three will play.”
Meanwhile, Aeros Head Coach Bernie Lynch has had his travelling shoes on all summer.
“He’s spent a month or two in Sweden running some camps there and helping out with other stuff over there doing some recruiting,” Axmann said.
He added the team also had a man in the Czech Republic recruiting. The Aeros recently signed Vojtech Svoboda from the Czech Republic.
“We look forward to having him around,” said Axmann.
Aeros fans will see the team wear their road whites at home for the first part of the season and their home reds for the second part of the season. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to jerseys. For the month of October the team will wear a special jersey to support the fight for cancer – pink in colour. In November the Aeros will be wearing a special commemorative jersey representing Remembrance Day.
“We’ll also be doing a Vegas themed jersey for Showcase. We’ll auction those off in support of the Vegas Trip,” said Axmann.
The Showcase event happens in Las Vegas the week before Christmas. The event is a showcase for college scouts who will be looking at all teams and players in the WSHL.