By Joel van der Veen
DAVIDSON — With a new season on the horizon, the Davidson Cyclones hit the ice for pre-season action against the Craik Warriors on Wednesday.
The Cyclones hosted the Warriors at the AGT Centre, leading from the start and ultimately winning 10-3.
Derek Allan, who has served as the Cyclones’ captain since 2012, said the game was a good opportunity for the team to play together on the ice before the season begins.
Allan said the Cyclones’ bench is currently a little emptier than they’d like it to be, calling the situation “not ideal.”
Fourteen players were on the bench on Wednesday. Allan said he has 13 or 14 players committed for this season, but he’s still trying to recruit more.
So far, Tim Spencer is the sole new addition to the Cyclones roster. A native of Carnduff, his career has included stints with multiple teams in the American Hockey League. He had three assists in Wednesday’s game.
Among the returning players are two imports, defensemen Brett Ward and Matt Saunderson.
Brad Morrison also returns as the Cyclones’ head coach, with Jason Schneider serving as assistant coach.
Given the team’s current numbers, Allan said it’s hard to predict what the season ahead will hold.
“We’ve lost quite a few really good players,” he said. “I think the team will jell pretty good. . . As long as we go out there and have fun, that’s the main thing.”
The Cyclones are again playing in the Long Lake Hockey League, which grew this season with the addition of the Wynyard Monarchs.
The league also includes the Drake Canucks, the Lanigan Pirates, the LeRoy Braves and the Watrous Winterhawks.
The Long Lake teams will face an expanded field of teams this year, thanks to an interlocking arrangement with the Fort Carlton Hockey League (FCHL).
Allan said they will be playing one game against each of the four FCHL teams, which include Tisdale, Wakaw, Waldheim and Hague. Those games will count towards the Long Lake teams’ records.
“We’ll get to see some new teams, instead of playing the same four or five teams all winter,” he said. “It’ll be good.”