The new look Lindsay Muskies officially kicked things off in earnest for the 2012/13 season over the weekend at the Lindsay Recreation Complex.
This should prove to be an exciting year for the club as a number of changes have taken place since the team last left the ice after last years playoffs. The team amalgamated with the Peterborough Liftlock Jr. A Stars over the off season. The team will continue to operate as the Lindsay Muskies Jr. A Hockey Club out of the Lindsay Recreation Complex, but there are a few changes amongst management personnel. There are two majority owners, longtime Muskies owner David Knapp, and former Stars owner Bryan Cathcart. Knapp is the team President, while Cathcart will be the teams new secretary. Unchanged from last year will be Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Paul Mattucci, and Sal Polito is the teams General Manager.
With the contraction of more teams this off season, the layout of the league has been changed as well. Lindsay will now play out of the Northeast conference. While they will not see as much of some former rivals as Wellington, Kingston, Trenton, and Cobourg, they will renewing some old rivalries with the likes of Newmarket, Aurora, and Stouffville.
After the first day of camp both Polito, and Mattucci seemed somewhat dismayed at what they termed a lack of intensity in the scrimmages. The guys need to do the math, explained Mattucci after Saturday's events mentioning that there are many talented players vying for the spots, and that very few spots were guaranteed.
A round of cuts were made after Sunday mornings practice, leading to the Sunday afternoon Black and White game. The intensity picked up nicely for that match, and Mattucci was much happier at the end of day 2. There are a lot of tough decisions to make, he stated following the Sunday afternoon match. I think the guys were a lot more into things this afternoon. He went on to say that although he was expecting a high level of competition, there were a couple of pleasant surprises over the weekend. That combined with the fact that he expects at least three more quality individuals to join camp this week will only make the selections even tougher.
Camp continues throughout the week with practices on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. The teams first exhibition game is taking place on Saturday August 25th at 7 pm when Cobourg come to town. The Muskies will also host Stouffville on Saturday, Sept. 1st at 7pm, and will play two road exhibition games. After the four exhibition games the team will once again head to Vermont to take part in the Woodchuck Classic where they will play three teams in a final preparation for the upcoming season.
It should also be noted that season tickets are now available, and that there are some changes to the marketing of the home games in general. Season tickets can be purchased either at the exhibition games, or by contacting Sal Polito at 705-324-1010. The prices for season tickets, which includes 27 dates this year are as follows. Adults are $225, while seniors, and students are $175. Game by game tickets are still among the cheapest in the league at $10 per adult, and $8 for seniors and students. A couple of big changes that Polito explained to me were that children 12 and under will be admitted free of charge, and that the team has also partnered with the Lindsay Minor Hockey Association in a deal for the Tuesday night home games. Any Lindsay Minor Hockey player who wears his, or her LMHA jacket or jersey on a Tuesday night will also receive free admission.