The Swift Current Broncos get their first taste of the league's newest building when they visit the Edmonton Oil Kings at Rogers Place tonight.
It's the first of two visits for the Broncos this season to the brand new home of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers.
It's also the return to Edmonton for former Oil King Kole Gable who had the experience of playing in the building earlier this season.
“Having Rogers and the big rink and all the people around was kind of getting to my head a little bit,” Gable noted. “Guys kind of ask what it's like being out there and stuff. You just have to think about the game more than anything. Worry about your game and go from there.”
While the team is focused on the game it's also a fun moment for everyone to be part of a contest in a brand new NHL building.
“It's quite the facility,” said Broncos associate coach Ryan Smith. “Brand new and everything is done top of the line. It's a treat, it's a nice little perk and it's nice we got in early this morning to get a little used to that scenery.”
The Broncos are coming off back-to-back 4-1 wins over Edmonton and Brandon. They want to build on the successes they had in those games and know they can't underestimate a struggling Oil Kings squad.
“We just saw them last Wednesday,” Smith said. “They've had their struggles, made some trades and went with a younger team. I liked the way they played (in Swift Current) they played pretty hard and they've got some players that can hurt you.”
Edmonton has lost fourteen games in a row and have had a hard time since dealing veterans Aaron Irving and Lane Bauer at the trade deadline. That doesn't mean the Broncos can count on a win.
“I think we can't let that get to us,” Gable said. “Everybody knows how they've been playing, but we just have to focus on our own game. In this league anyone can win. We have to focus on our own game and own systems and we'll be fine.”
Playing against a team that hasn't been scoring much lately the Broncos will attempt to get the jump on them and put Edmonton in an early hole.
“We can't give them any opportunities offensively,” Smith said. “Against a young team like this if we can put them on our heels, get a good start and maybe pop a goal or two early in the game it might get them thinking they're down the same path as they were going. We're not taking anything for granted we know they're a hungry team.”
The Broncos have been happy with some improvements they've made to their defensive game over the last week.
"We keep working in practice every day," said defenceman Max Lajoie. "Our defensive play has improved a little bit, but we've gotta keep working on it."
This is the first of a three game Alberta road swing. Swift Current heads to Red Deer on Friday and Calgary on Saturday.
Listen live on The Eagle 94.1 FM to Robertson Family Group Broncos Hockey at 7:30pm.