The Wheat City Ball Hockey League ended a while ago, but some of the players from there have one more big event ahead of them this weekend in Regina.
Players from the league have come together to form the Wheat City Wildcats and they are going after the organization’s second Western Canadian Regional C-Division championship in the program’s history.
“It’s the biggest (event of the season) for us,” said president Tyler Cybulsky, who also plays left wing. “We only compete in the regionals. We don’t compete in other leagues. This is our one and only tournament, so for us it’s a big deal. We don’t go and play Winnipeg teams or Saskatchewan teams often. We just practise and play against our league members or schedule a fun game in Winnipeg. This is a big weekend for us.”
The Wildcats became western champions when the event was held in Winnipeg in 2011 and claimed a bronze medal in 2013.
This year’s team has a mixture of returning players and some newcomers as well, but they all have the same goal of winning the event.
Five teams stand in the Wildcats’ way in the Calgary Cobra Kai, Saskatoon Master Raiders, Calgary Crusaders, Regina Red Army and Winnipeg Goodfellas.
The Wildcats will play the Crusaders, Red Army and Goodfellas in the round robin today and Saturday. The top four teams advance to Sunday’s playoffs.
Although Wheat City is made up of various players from the Brandon-based ball hockey league, Cybulsky is adamant that this isn’t just a fun trip to Regina.
“It’s pretty much all competitive,” he said. “We go out as a team and it’s a fun team experience. When we go out on the floor, it’s like playing for the Stanley Cup.
“We want to have fun but be competitive at the same time. The majority of the time we get a little more competitive than we are having fun because it is the biggest event for us, so we want to make sure we make a good impression and make it worthwhile for us to go and bring something home.”