By Joseph Hayes
There haven’t been many occasions where members of the Port Huron Prowlers have been this excited.
After a long hiatus, the Prowlers have returned back to the ice for practice, in preparation for this weekend’s road trip to Elmira, New York.
The Prowlers are not only excited about returning to the ice, but in addition, they have developed a special appreciation for their favorite game.
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“Myself, and the rest of the team are beyond excited to be back to work,” Port Huron Prowlers coach and defenseman Joe Pace Jr. said.
“None of us have ever experienced being off or away from each other for this long and we could’ve never thought that we would’ve been away from the game of hockey for almost 49 full weeks.”
The Prowlers have felt a great sense of relief and excitement in returning to practice this week. Now the hope is they are able to start the season with a winning streak.
“Being excited for these games is an understatement,” Pace Jr. said. “It means the world to us. With a limited time for training camp and practice we’re just going to have to keep it simple and play as hard as we can.”
When play was stopped toward the end of last season, the Prowlers were gearing up to make a run at a Federal Prospects Hockey League championship.
Now that they are back in action, that journey continues with the opening of a new season. They will play a pair of games on Friday and Saturday at the Elmira Enforcers.
But it will be a different environment without fans present.
“It’s also going to be extremely difficult to play in front of no fans in New York,” Pace Jr. said. “Fans bring so much energy to the game at home and on the road.
“Playing in a city like Elmira, the fans are pretty hard on the visiting team which gets you going still. It’s going to be a learning experience for all of us. We definitely look forward to getting back home to McMorran in front of our fans on February 26th and 27th.”
After this weekend’s trip to New York, the Prowlers will return home for a pair of games Feb. 26-27 against the Columbus River Dragons to open their home schedule at McMorran Arena.
Joseph caught up with some of the Prowlers recently, so click the links below to catch those interviews.