As training camp heads into its 3rd week, the Helena Bighorns Coaching staff have some tough decisions to make. With over 30 players still vying for a spot on this years opening day roster, several spots are still up for grabs.
In week 2 of camp, players were put through there paces as they were treated to a brisk 2 mile run each morining before players headed off to school. The afternoons saw the Bighorns return to the Helena Ice Arena for their usual 2 hours practice sessions. At the conclusion of practice then went home for a quick dinner before it was off to Fuel Fitness for their nightly workout. While some new players deemed it "Hell Week," Bighorns veterans approached it with a slightly different approach. "With the regualr season only a few weeks away, we need to be ready," said one Bighorn veteran. "It's all part of the deal here in Helena."
With week three underway, you can sense that the team is anxiously preparing for their first real test of the '11-'12 season. The DJ's Automitive Cup is beginning this Thursday. For some Bighorn hopefuls, it may be their last chance to prove to the Bighorns coaching staff that they deserve a spot on this years team. Bighorn Head Coach, Scott Cunningham, says that this weekend's tournament will be a good test for some players. "With all 5 other AWHl teams coming, it will be a good opportunity to see how the league is coming together and how our group will compare. It will also be a great opportunity for us to get a final look at at our guys in game situations."
Despite the tournament style format of games, Cunningham says that he views the tourney as a tune up. "Sure, we are going to try and win the games we are in. But we are also going to take a good, hard look at players who still haven't completely solidified a spot this year. Everyone still here will play."
With over 30 players still in camp, some spots will come down to the final games, which could be played Sunday. The DJ's Automotive Cup will have each team play a minimum of 3 games, with the top 4 teams advancing to a single game playoff to be played on Sunday.
Tickets for the DJ's Automotive Cup can be purchased online at www.helenabighorns.com or by calling 457-2817. Weekend passes are available for $25 and single day passes can be pruchased for $10.
Dont' miss a minute of Helena Bighorns Hockey action as they prepare to defend their 2011 National Championship. Season Tickets are still on sale and can be purchased online or at the Helena Bighorns Office.