KENSINGTON – The Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild will enter the next – and most important – phase of training camp this weekend.
The Wild will play four games in the New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey league’s annual jamboree at the Superior Propane Centre in Moncton, N.B. Saturday, Kensington faces the Northern Moose from Bathurst, N.B., at 12:30 p.m., and the host Moncton Flyers at 4 p.m. Sunday, the Wild tangles with the Saint John Vitos at 12:30 p.m., and the Fredericton Caps at 4 p.m.
“We have a fast team, and we want to see what guys can really make that jump into this league,” said Wild head coach Kyle Dunn in phone interview with the Journal Pioneer on Thursday afternoon. “This weekend is going to separate everybody.
“You can look good in an intra-squad game and playing against friends and guys you played against your whole life, but now we’re going to play the Monctons, Saint Johns. It’s going get a little quicker this weekend, and it’s definitely going to start separating guys.”
The Wild opened training camp with 35 players, but Dunn added five were released on Wednesday night to get down to 30 players for this weekend. With the Wild opening the 2018-19 regular season on the road against Saint John on Friday, Sept. 14, this weekend will be the final opportunity for players to make an impression.
“We are hoping to have our team finalized so we can have a full team practice by Wednesday, and be on the road to Saint John on Friday,” said Dunn. “Hopefully, we will get some guys back, but if not best of luck to them and we will move forward with what we have.”
Teams can sign up to 20 players, but Dunn added the Wild could possibly hold a spot or two.
“We’ve always normally left a spot or two open knowing there were guys in junior camps who may be teetering on the bubble,” said Dunn. “It’s a judgement thing we make at the very last minute to leave a spot open.”
The Wild’s regular-season home opener is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22, against the Moose. Game time at Credit Union Centre is 7:30 p.m.