KENSINGTON – Training camp is just around the corner for the Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild.
Winners of four straight, and five of the last six, provincial major midget hockey championships, the Wild will take to the ice at Credit Union Place in Summerside on Thursday, Aug 29. Registration runs from 5 to 5:30 p.m., with the team’s first on-ice session to follow at 6 p.m.
“We’re all excited to start the season,” said Wild assistant coach Duane Richards. “We are looking for a competitive camp, guys that are hungry to make the team and want to get to that next level and put in the time to get better and move forward with us as a team.”
Interested players are asked to pre-register for camp by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and including their name, age and position.
The Wild, runners-up in the 2019 Atlantic major midget hockey championship, plays in the New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League and will defend their 2018 Monctonian AAA Challenge title in Moncton, N.B., in November.
Kensington will also return to in the Chronicle Herald IceJam tournament in Bedford, N.S., in January, an event they finished runner-up in last year after losing 1-0 in overtime to the Moncton Flyers in the championship game.
The Wild has also been invited back to the CCM Midget AAA Challenge tournament in Chicoutimi, Que., in December. The Wild attended this tournament after winning the Monctonian and became the first-ever team from Atlantic Canada to qualify for the playoff round, where they were eliminated in the quarter-finals.
Kyle Dunn returns for his sixth season as Wild head coach and there has been one change to the team’s coaching staff. Former Hockey P.E.I. official Ryan Power joins the staff as an assistant coach replacing Campbell Gallant, who has stepped down due to work commitments.
Kensington Wild training camp schedule:
At Credit Union Place (Summerside):
Thursday, Aug. 29
5-5:30 p.m. – Registration.
6-7 p.m. – On-ice session.
Sunday, Sept. 1
6:30-8 p.m. – On-ice session.
Monday, Sept. 2
10-11:30 a.m. – On-ice session.
Wednesday, Sept. 4
6:30-8 p.m. – On-ice session.
At Credit Union Centre
Thursday, Sept. 5
6:30-8 p.m. – Fitness.
The Wild is expected to have 10 possible returnees attending major junior and junior A camps this month.
“There will be guys trickling back from major junior and junior A once the camp starts,” said Richards, a former hard-nosed forward with the Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals’ junior A hockey team in the 1990s. “We hope to have a total of 30 to 35 when it’s all said and done.”
Richards does admit there are a lot of moving parts and uncertainty early in camp.
“You have kids at major junior camps, you have kids at junior A camps and you are not quite sure what parts may come back to you and what exactly you may or may not need,” said Richards, who is entering his sixth year with the Wild. “It’s a feeling-out process and then as the camp moves on and closer to the start of the season, you can kind of figure out what you are going to have.”
The first cuts will be made following the ice session in Summerside on Sept. 4. The Wild will attend the league’s annual pre-season jamboree in Moncton on Sept. 7 and 8 and Richards added efforts are being made to schedule exhibition games for the following weekend. The regular season opens the weekend of Sept. 20.
The Wild will once again be playing the majority of their regular-season home games at Credit Union Centre on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.