Red Wings welcomes Edson to the West

High Prairie Red Wing player Jeremy Brooks, right, stickhandles the puck in the corner behind the Fox Creek Ice King net in Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League playoff action May 15 in High Prairie.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

High Prairie Red Wings will have two more teams to battle in the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League for the 2021-22 season.

Edson Eagles becomes the sixth Alberta team in the West Division, expansion director Derek Prue announced in mid-August.

“It’s something we’ve been working on for a couple of months,” Prue says.

“We’re obviously excited there’s so much interest in the West Division and we’re looking for a great season.”

Edson formerly played in the Western States Hockey League for one-and-a-half seasons before the league folded shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020, Prue says.

Ryder Prue will be the head coach and general manager.

He was the head coach of the Red Wings in their inaugural season in 2019-2020 before he became assistant manager last season.

A team from Mackenzie, British Columbia will also play in the West Division with the Alberta teams in the 2021-2022 season only.

Mackenzie and Kitimat were announced July 2 as the first B.C. teams, both located in the northwest.

“We’ve got several other markets in that corridor that we’re in discussions with,” Prue says.

“After we get a third team in that region, we will start our BC zone.”

Gibbons Pioneers were welcomed in June to the West Division that will have seven teams for the upcoming season.

Other teams in the division include the Slave Lake Icedogs, Fox Creek Ice Kings and Enoch Northern Alberta Tomahawks.

Prue says the schedule for the regular season is expected to be released by Aug. 27.

“With seven teams, we will have Sunday games,” Prue says.

“Sunday games will be good for families.”

Games will also be played Friday and Saturday nights.

Several key dates have been scheduled by the league.

Pre-season exhibition games are set to start Sept. 17 before the regular season gets underway Oct. 1.

Several special events have been planned by the GMHL throughout the season.

The all-star game is planned for Jan. 11.

Playoffs are set to start Feb. 21.

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