In two and a half weeks from today, the 2019 Allan Cup will be taking place in Lacombe, Alberta from April 8-13.
So far, this year's participants are the host Lacombe Generals, Manitoba's South East Prairie Thunder, Ontario's Stoney Creek Generals, New Brunswick's Haut-Madawaska Panthers, and the Rosetown Redwings who will serve as the representatives from Saskatchewan. We are still awaiting the winner between the Innsifail Eagles and Stony Plain Eagles to see who will represent Alberta at the event.
With the tournament starting soon, the Redwings are planning a couple tune up games so they are game ready for the oldest amateur senior hockey championship in Canada. These games will be of special importance for the Wings, considering they were knocked out in the semifinals of the Allan Cup Hockey West playoffs by Innisfail a few weeks ago, plus there being no Rathgaber Cup necessary for this year's qualifiers.
On Saturday, the Redwings will travel northwest towards Wainwright, Alberta for a neutral ice exhibition game against the Lacombe Generals, which will give fans an early preview of the calibre of hockey they'll witness at the tournament. But on Sunday, the Wings will be back in Rosetown for what will be a one-of-a-kind experience at their hockey arena – the AGT Centre.
The senior AAA Redwings will go up against the Sask Senior All-Stars, also known as The Players All-Stars, in an exhibition showdown at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday featuring hockey players from different parts of the province. The Players, a recreational hockey team organized by Rosetown resident Trent Aylward, consist of players who currently play on senior hockey teams in Saskatchewan, whether here in the west central region or other corners.
Jason Ediger, general manager and assistant coach for Rosetown, says this isn't the first time him and Aylward have put together a pre-tournament game like this in their community; the same was done a couple years ago for the Redwings. Ediger explains why he and Aylward came up with the idea for this game once again and what kind of players will be on the all-star roster.
I guess if all these good folks are betting on us to win this game against the @RRedwings we better at least show them who we are. Here’s our roster for Sunday afternoon’s match. Be there! pic.twitter.com/FaZOLRDmGs— ThePlayers (@players2point0) March 21, 2019
So now, not only have the Wings been keeping up with practices lately to stay in hockey mode for the national tournament next month, they are also getting themselves game ready for this weekend's matchups. They may be regarded as exhibition games, but the Redwings will be up against an ACHW rival on one night, followed by skilled local talent on Sunday night.
No doubt the Rosetown seniors will want to bring their best effort on the ice when they compete against their difficult opponents. Although, the Wings may have to move on without their full Allan Cup roster during these send-off games with some players stuck with other commitments.
Regardless, the team continues with their normal practice schedule, as Ediger mentions here.
While Sunday's tune up will surely be a competitive yet fun experience for the players, they'll know in the back of their minds that the Allan Cup is nearly two weeks away. Some of the Redwings players have experience in the tournament from years past, while others will be taking it all in for the first time.
Ediger mentioned how some of the players have some nerves going into the tournament and have been asking questions of what to expect when playing against quality AAA opponents. He thinks the fact they're not too far from home base and the tournament being played in a familiar environment will keep the team confident heading into the event
Fans can grab their tickets at the gate on game day and will also have the opportunity to participate in a massive 50/50 raffle at $5,000 sponsored by G-Mac's Ag Team. Those 50/50 tickets can be purchased ahead of time, which you can learn more about by visiting the Community Events page.