It was 27 years ago but the Neepawa Natives are returning to their roots on October 9 with a scheduled league game in the community of Carberry vs. OCN Blizzard. In the first few seasons when the Neepawa Natives began their journey in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League the community of Carberry hosted their training camps and exhibition schedule until the Yellowhead Arena ice was ready for the season. “As a member of the original team, it was an exciting time around the Westman area as a franchise moved to Neepawa. Carberry always had their ice in early and offered to host the team during training camps and the exhibition games. Their rink was packed, the community was buzzing and it was a lot of fun. ”, explained Neepawa Natives General Manager Myles Cathcart.
The Neepawa Natives have a history of playing scheduled games outside of their home arena for the last number of years as communities such as Minnedosa, Brandon and Cartwright have benefited from the Westman junior hockey club playing a scheduled game away from Neepawa. “We are always looking to improve our fan base in our own arena and playing a game in selected rinks helps to build our brand. We have incredibly dedicated fans in Neepawa and these games expose new fans to the organization. The games also showcase the Manitoba Junior Hockey League to other communities as a fast and exciting game. It’s a very positive experience for everyone involved”, said Cathcart. Carberry is also home to Alumni and regional scout for the hockey club, Dustin Fisher.
Training camp is scheduled for September 3-6 at the Yellowhead Arena. Preparations for the upcoming season are well on the way season ticket sales have selling at a good a pace. If you have not purchased your season ticket, contact Kevin Cook @ 204.476.4016.