Stouffville Spirit gets ready for home opener

There’s a mix of old and new in Stouffville Spirit camp.

The Ontario Junior Hockey League team opened its main training camp Aug. 12.

Forty-eight players competing for 20 roster spots. They were divided into two groups for the first two days of camp, half on the ice at the Stouffville Arena and the other half in dryland sessions at SoccerCity in south Stouffville.

The Spirit begins its 2019-20 Ontario Junior Hockey League regular season Sept. 7 in Georgetown.

The home opener goes the next day – Sunday, Sept. 8 at 2:30 p.m. – at the Stouffville Arena against the new Collingwood Colts, the former Kingston Voyageurs franchise.

Mayor Iain Lovatt and officials from the Terry Fox Run will take part in the ceremonial faceoff before the home opener. The proceeds from the 50/50 draws at the home games in September will be donated to the run in the name of cancer research.

The Spirit has two more home games during the month: Sept. 21 with Aurora and Sept. 28 against Pickering. There are five home games during October.

Earlier this summer, the Spirit acquired goaltender Chris Elliot and forwards Tanner McEachern and Holden Doggett from the defending OJHL and central Canada champion Oakville Blades in a cash deal.

“We’re definitely better than last year,” general manager Kenny Burrows said, looking back at 2018-19 Spirit team that finished strong but missed the playoffs. “That being said, how much better will depend on how things come together. We know that when you sign a bunch of kids out of minor midget and midget, development is still necessary to climb the ladder at the Jr. A level.”

The Spirit will sport new uniforms this fall. They’ll include a mix of old and new elements.

For information on the Spirit, including this year’s schedule, go to stouffvillespirit.pointstreaksites.com

Photo: Head coach Andre Darlow addresses hopefuls on Day 1 of Stouffville Spirit training camp at the Stouffville Arena Aug. 12, 2019. Photo: Jim Mason/Stouffville Spirit.

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