The Swift Current Kabos Raiders will host their annual eight-team home tournament this weekend.
The Raiders have only won their home tournament twice in 30 years, including a thrilling win in 2009, but they are coming off a heartbreaking second-place finish last year when they suffered a 4-3 loss in double overtime to the Unity Lazers.
The Raiders will open their tournament on Friday at 8:15 p.m. against Edmonton SSAC at Fairview West Arena.
Saturday, the Raiders will battle the Notre Dame Hounds at 1:30 p.m. and the Calgary Northstar Sabres at 8:45 p.m. at Fairview West Arena.
Other teams in attendance include the Melville Millionaires, the Regina Hurricanes, the Calgary Northwest Bruins, and the Saskatoon FrostBite.
The championship final is scheduled for Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
The Raiders feel they are coming together after finishing 3-2-1 at the AA Bantam Challenge in Regina two weekends ago.
“I think that we are doing really good,” said Raiders veteran Colton Adam. “I thought we had a good tournament in Regina and really turned it around after we had struggled for a couple of games there.”
He realizes that his team faces another stiff test this weekend.
“If we can just battle through it I think that we can probably stand up to any team in the province. I think that we can do pretty good.”
“I think the guys are starting to believe in themselves and that is the biggest thing,” added head coach Kent Woods. “We have a lot of young, good, skilled hockey players. Once we start playing as a team we are going to be a team that every game in and game out we will give you a run for your money.”
Woods said the field is stronger than it has been the past few years. He feels that Melville is one of the more skilled teams in the province.
“It is going to be a good competitive tournament. We set ourselves to play against the AAA team out of Calgary just to show that I truly believe in these guys. When we work hard we can accomplish so much.”