The North East Warriors recreational hockey team are heading back to Banff with redemption in mind and earning a Banff Cup Championship. The Warriors organization will be taking part in their third CHE (Canadian Hockey Enterprises) Tournament beginning later in April.
The prestigious tournament, which runs from April 25 to 28 this will mark the fifth time the Warriors or related teams have attended. They won in Kelowna in 2015, and finished third in the 2018 Banff Cup after barely missing playing in the final.
They also attended as the Ultra Pros in 2010 and 2012.
“The Warriors head out with the youngest roster we have ever had competing, but confident in the group we’re bringing. The Warriors have brought a great variety of players, some new to the tourney and some players returning,” Linden Harper of the Warriors explained.
The Warriors roster will consist of goaltender Nathan Breland, players Harper, Jaret Schneider, Mat Barrett, Guy Zales, Tim Gausman, Clayton Westgard, Stephen Hill, David Hilbig, Jesse Harper, Brenden Kiefer, Matt Hawreschuk, Colten Yarych and Trainer/Assistant Coach Andrew DeHaan.
Last year’s tournament coincided with the Humboldt Broncos’ bus crash on April 6, 2018.
“One year ago we played with heavy hearts learning about the tragic Humboldt bus crash, so this year the Warriors members will be honouring them with Humboldt Strong decals on our helmets for the tourney,” Harper said.
The Warriors are excited to attend again and gain some payback after falling just short last year.
“We would love to bring the Banff Cup back to Saskatchewan then get invited to the Tournament of Champions in the fall of 2019 held in Las Vegas, Nevada,” he said.