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Regular Season Game
Friday Sep. 29 at 8:00 PM
Ron Ebbesen Arena
Okotoks 38 35 3 0 70
Medicine H.. 38 27 8 3 57
Cochrane 38 23 12 3 49
Strathmore 38 18 18 2 38
Coaldale 38 13 20 5 31
High River 38 6 29 3 15

Cubs looking to build off strong 2021-22 season

Cubs looking to build off strong 2021-22 season

James Tubb

by James Tubb ~ Medicine Hat News
September 3, 2022

The Medicine Hat Cubs aren’t satisfied with their strong 2021-22 season.

The Cubs had a tight group that propelled them to 25 wins in the regular season and two wins short of the Heritage Junior Hockey League finals. But the job’s not finished for head coach and general manager Randy Wong who says a big message in training camp this weekend, is to forget about last year.

“We’re moving forward, we’ve got a way more competitive division this year,” Wong said..”We don’t have Kainai or Lomond, High Rivers’ going to be a better team, Cochrane is back in our division, so there’s no easy nights. I really have to hammer that message through so we have guys prepared. I think we have to make sure that mentally we’re on the right track, that we’re going to earn our wins just like they’ll earn their spot on the team. They’re going to have to battle hard for the two points each night and I think we’ll be a better team come playoff time because of it.”

The Cubs got their training camp underway Friday night at the Kinplex with 48 players split into two different practice squads. Camp will run through Saturday and wrap up Sunday with two practices and a Top 40 game to round out the weekend.

Wong said there will be a lot of hard choices and there is no roster spot saved for anyone.

“There’s some bodies that aren’t even here yet and guys know that, so nobody’s really safe and I think they’re seeing that,” Wong said. “It’s like, ‘oh boy, there’s some young guys that are hungry.’ The older guys are going to earn their way on the team and the younger guys as well. That’s just going to be real good competition for the makeup of our club.”

One of those hard choices will be narrowing down the overage slots, with six 21-year-olds in camp, goaltender Dawson Savage and forwards Austin Klimosko, Jacob Milne, Colby Friedrich, Cooper Hilworth and captain Levi Schlosser to fill only four spots.

“The message to everybody is, don’t be too relaxed and think that you’re on this team because there’s lots of young guys that want your spot. Make sure you’re doing the right thing and competing and earning your spot,” Wong said. “I think the older guys know that, the 21-year-olds are excited. They’re all back and they all want their spot and there’s only four spots, so it’s a healthy competition and I’m looking forward to see who is going to rise to the top and take those spots.”

Although the Cubs aren’t reflecting on last season’s semi-finals loss to the eventual champion Okotoks Bisons, Wong said there is some lingering hunger left over after falling a step short.

“I think that’s on their minds, so we want to take that next step and hopefully compete for that championship at a league final, not so much a South final,” Wong said. “They all look pretty good, they’re happy to be here again and I see the smiles on their face again because their buddies are back together.”

After training camp wraps up Sunday, the Cubs begin their pre-season action Sept. 10 when they travel to Strathmore. They return to Medicine Hat and the Kinplex Sept. 11 to host the Wheatland Kings for a home and home series. That home contest gets underway at 3 p.m.

Before the summer, Wong said he and mostly his wife, were looking forward to a summer in the sun and away from the rink. He said it maybe wasn’t long enough of a break for his wife but he’s glad to be back on the ice.

“This morning I said, ‘we’ll see you on Sunday,’ so I left to go back in the rink,” Wong said with a laugh. “She knows I love it, this is my second home. A lot of years coaching and I still enjoy coming to the rink.”


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