Swift Current Broncos and Regina Pats open 2013-14 WHL regular season
The wait is finally over for Swift Current Broncos fans.
The Broncos and Regina Pats will open the Western Hockey League 2013-14 regular season schedule tonight in Regina.
The Broncos will host their home opener on Saturday when the Pats return the visit to the Credit Union iplex.
“Yeah it has been a long preseason and to play a game that has a bit more meeting to it is going to be nice,” said forward Andrew Johnson.
“I think we are ready to go. I think we do have a little bit of work to do yet. This week is going to be huge for us too. It is going to be awesome and I am looking forward to it,” he added.
“Yeah it is always a good time when exhibition games are over and your team is getting in the mood and getting the chemistry back,” explained 18-year-old defenseman Brett Lernout. “Going into the season opener and the home opener is getting really exciting.”
“The practices are harder and harder and we just want to get going with the games,” admitted Lernout.
Johnson is a veteran of 220 games with Moose Jaw and Seattle over the past three seasons. The 19-year-old forward was an off-season trade acquisition from Seattle.
“It has been really easy. The guys and the coaches have made it a smooth transition. As opposed to my last trade where I was kind of thrown into the mix in the middle of the season, you have training camp and the exhibition camp to work into it. It has been a good experience and it has been smooth so far.”
Johnson posted four assists in six preseason games.
“I felt my first couple games weren’t where I need to be at. But the last few, I felt I have just been building every game and that it is a good thing, especially leading into the season here.”
“I think we have been playing good,” said Lernout of the Broncos' 4-4 preseason record. “I think this year we will have more of a skill team, not as rough and tough as last year. I think we will do really good and we will see what happens. Yeah I think our chemistry is really going and practices look really good, so we should be ready for the home opener and stuff.”
Lernout posted two points and 28 penalty minutes in 41 games with the Broncos during his first full WHL season after being acquired from the Saskatoon Blades.
“Yeah I hope to have a bigger role, maybe second or third D pairing. I think I am just a defensive defenseman and I fight when I get the chance if they go after one of our young guys. I just need to be physical and all that,” said the Winnipeg native.