The Jets touched down in Kelowna, BC, late Sunday night, not to mention, the two hour time difference into the Pacific time zone.
With the tournament already two games in, the Jets must quickly pull themselves together, get on the ice to prepare for their first game Monday night against the San Jose Sharks. Game time is set to go at 9:30 CST.
The Jets arrived at the South Okanagan Events Centre for their pre-game skate at 10:30am. The players looked alive and ready to rock despite their late arrival Sunday. The team ran line combinations, drills and worked on individual skills.
"They've had a couple tough days, first with their physicals and testing and everything involved, two practices and then here on the ice," said Head Coach of the Saint John's IceCaps Keith McCambridge. "A short time to come together as a group and to get what we need out of them as individuals."
"It's a chance for us to evaluate, to see what we have in the system depth-wise and see what these guys can do and see how that roles into main camp." he said.
"I'm with Carls and Gregs out there. They are good players, they work hard, battle hard and are very skilled," said Scheifele. "I think we're going to play a very good game. We've had some chemisty over the last few days so I think it'll be a good game."
Chemistry is arguably a tough thing to come by in a short period of time. The young Scheifele would disagree.
"I think you can, you just have to talk to each other," he commented on finding chemistry. "We are all smart hockey players so we are able to read each other on the ice and off the ice so that helps. Just talking to each other at all times to find that chemistry."
The Winnipeg Young Stars roster on paper appears to be the youngest of the five NHL teams at the tournament. In fact, only Swedish winger Carl Klingberg has played at the professional level having played in eight AHL games with the Chicago Wolves and one NHL game with the Atlanta Thrashers last season.
"We have a young group," said McCambridge. "Looking at the other rosters from the other teams who are here, they have some AHL experience. The amount we have is one with nine games and the rest are guys coming out of college and junior. They are going to be excited, as other teams are, but we just want to make sure they go out and play to their strengths. Play to the reason why they are here in this tournament, why they are with the Jets right now and don't change their game."
Excited is putting things lightly. The Jets were grinning from ear to ear in anticipation for tonight's match-up against the Sharks. They can hardly wait to don the Jets logo for the very first time this season.
"It's a great honor to be the first ones to wear the logo for a game," said Scheifele. "All the guys are excited and obviously a bit nervous because it's the first game and the first game with the logo. I think there are a lot of nerves going in but there is a lot of excitement too so I think we're all going to be ready." Author: Kristi Hennessy | winnipegjets.com