There is just one more hurdle that the Manitoba AAA U18 Hockey League has to get over for a 2020-2021 season to take place and that's approval from Hockey Manitoba.
If the league does get approval -- a modified season schedule would begin on Friday, October 16 -- a date the Parkland U18 Rangers would surely be ready for. The organization will host its main camp this weekend inside of Credit Union Place.
It was originally scheduled for earlier this month but because of the season delay, the Rangers also delayed main camp. Tyler Carefoot will coach alongside Rick Freese this season and he's thrilled to get things going for real.
"Ecstatic I think is a really good word to use and relieved," said Carefoot. "We're fortunate that we have a Return-to-Play plan. We're looking forward to opening camp on Friday and preparing for the season. There is a lot to be excited about, that's for sure."
The Rangers have been holding conditioning camps twice a week since the ice was put in Credit Union Place late last month. There will be two groups and both feature 19 skaters and two goalies each. The list includes returning veterans Hayden Lacquette, Jayden Jubenvill, Keaton Ziprick, and Rylan Gibbs, just to name a few.
Several U15 Rangers from last season are also ready to try and crack the roster. That list includes Brayden Dube who was drafted 29th overall by Seattle in the WHL Draft, Madden Murray, Carter Zalischuk, and Kyan Grouette, just to name a few as well.
In past years, the Rangers have had trouble getting players out to camp. This year, more than 40 will hit the ice looking to make the team beginning on Friday.
"We want the program to have success, we think the program deserves success, and of course, the players," said Carefoot. "I think this is a special year, I really believe we have the core and the recruitment class that is coming on to put something special together."
The public is welcome inside the arena to watch this weekend's action as Prairie Mountain Health is no longer under the "restricted" level. The first ice session on Friday is at 6:15 followed by another one at 7:45 p.m.
A mini-tournament begins on Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m. which consists of four different teams. Ultimately, the finals of the tournament will be played at 3:45 on Sunday afternoon. The Dauphin Kings will then play the Neepawa Natives at 7:30 on Sunday night.
"If conditioning camp was any indication of how things are going to be, it's going to be extremely exciting," ended Carefoot. "Rick and I have coached a lot of these kids over the years and we're expecting things to be ultra-competitive."