The newest rivalry in the Western Hockey League will get underway this weekend as the Brandon Wheat Kings take on the Winnipeg ICE in a pair of exhibition games.
Friday's game will mark the first time the Wheat Kings have faced off against another team with a 204 area code since 1984 when the Winnipeg Warriors relocated to Moose Jaw.
Brandon will play Winnipeg ten times during the regular season including an opening weekend home and home series.
Both teams are expected to ice a mix of young and old on Friday night and both games will see a variety of different players draw into the lineup.
Friday's game at Westoba Place will cap off a busy day that includes the annual Season Ticket Pickup blitz.
Fans are encouraged to visit the south end of the Keystone Centre parking lot between 10:00 am and 7:00 pm to pick up their season tickets. Montana's, Tim Hortons and the Chip truck will be on hand for free food and drink for fans.
"I can't wait to finally get some games in. I want to try and build some momentum before the season starts. I need to keep doing what I've been doing. I've felt really good this week and that needs to translate into the games this weekend."
-Goaltender Ethan Kruger
"I will have a bunch of family and friends in the rinks this weekend. It will be exciting to finally experience the WHL first hand. It's going to be different playing a new team and not practicing with your teammates, you don't have to be nice to anyone out there anymore."
-Forward Rylan Roersma
"We are looking for execution. We tried to keep things simple in the last 10 days. The staff has introduced what we want slowly and we want to see that translate into games. We're looking at the work ethic, compete level and we want to see some of these guys play in different spots and excel."
-Head Coach Dave Lowry
The pre-season opener will be broadcast on QCountry 91.5. The Drummonds Farm Services, Auto Parts Central pre-game show will go live at 7:00 p.m.