It’s time to start getting excited about the coming men’s senior Central Interior Hockey League (CIHL) season and marking must-see games on the calendar.
Terrace’s CIHL team, the River Kings, will have the benefit of home ice appearances in the early party of the season.
Although its first regular season game takes place in Kitimat against the Ice Demons on Oct. 5, the team is back at home for the rest of the month.
That home stretch begins Oct. 12 with a game against last season’s Coy Cup winners, the Williams Lake Stampeders, followed by rematch the next day.
The River Kings then play the Prince Rupert Rampage on Oct. 19 and are then up against the Ice Demons again on Nov. 1.
The team then heads east for a game against the Houston Luckies on Nov. 9 and takes to the road again against the Smithers Steelheads on Nov. 16.
Smithers returns the favour by travelling to Terrace on Nov. 30 while Houston is here on Dec. 1.
The team takes its first lengthy road trip of the season with a trip to the Cariboo, playing in Lac la Hache on Dec. 7 and in Williams Lake on Dec. 8.
A break then follows with a return to home ice on Dec. 13 when Kitimat makes the short trip north on that day while Prince Rupert makes a short trip east of its own to make an appearance on Dec. 14.
A two-week Christmas break then occurs although the players may still be digesting turkey and stuffing on Dec. 28 for a game in Smithers against the Steelheaders.
Prince Rupert is the next location when the Kings travel there on Jan. 3.
The same teams return to the ice with a game back here in Terrace on Jan. 4.
The team closes out the regular season in the Cariboo with a game on Jan. 11 against Lac La Hache and one the next day against the Stampeders.
Practices for returning players began Aug. 20.
While players are tuning up for the season, the team itself has issued a call for financial assistance.
“As we move forward into the 2013/2014 season, it is with foreboding that this may be the last year the team is able to compete if our fortunes do not improve,” reads a notice being circulated.
It says the team plays a role in not only providing entertaining hockey but in giving graduating minor hockey players a venue to keep playing.