Jamie Brake has a tough task ahead of him, but he’s all smiles nonetheless.
Brake and Tim Anderson are the coaches for the Western Knights entry in the four-team provincial minor midget hockey league that opens training camp Friday at the Corner Brook Civic Centre.
Brake was pretty upbeat Thursday when talking about a second season of Knights hockey after finding out the numbers registered for the training camp.
He formed a 19-player roster, including two goaltenders, out of 41 players who attended training camp in the inaugural season, but this time around there are 60 players pre-registered for the camp and another dozen or so who are taking a serious look at trying to crack the roster.
There are so many players interested that the Knights management team have broken up the players into four teams for the training camp with hopes of getting a good look at the prospects hoping to wear the Knights crest.
“The more players we have out the better quality product we will have,” said Brake, who has been overwhelmed by the response with players from St. Anthony to Port aux Basques already registered for the camp.
The league will feature a five-tournament format with all four franchises playing host to a weekend single round-robin affair in their home rink. The TriPen Ice will host the final weekend tournament that will decide the provincial winner.
Brake loves the idea of a fourth team because there’s less chance of players getting sick of playing the same team so many times and he believes the calibre of hockey will improve with more guys apparently buying into the minor midget concept.
The Knights will travel to a 10-team minor midget tournament in Halifax on Remembrance Day Weekend to get ready for the regular season that gets underway Nov. 16.
The Ice will host the first tournament.
The Knights won first place in the regular season in the inaugural campaign but came up short in the playoff final in an overtime loss to the Central Thunder.
“We’re hoping to put a good product on the ice and get back to the championship game again to get another crack at it,” he said.
Western Knights Camp
Corner Brook Civic Centre/Kinsmen Arena II
Friday, Sept. 14
5:30-6:30 p.m. — Team Red/Team Silver practice session
6:30-7:30 p.m. — Team Black/Team White practice session
Saturday, Sept. 15
10:30-11:30 a.m. — Team Black/Team White practice
11:30-12:30 p.m. — Team Red/Team Silver practice
1:30-2:30 p.m. — Team Black vs Team Red game
2:30-3:30 p.m. — Team White vs Team Silver game
5:30-6:30 p.m. — Team Red vs Team White game (Kinsmen Arena II)
6:30-7:30 p.m. — Team Black vs Team Silver (Kinsmen Arena II