Saskatoon Blades Gear Up for Season Kick-off, Wong Named 62nd Captain

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The Saskatoon Blades and Regina Pats are poised for their regular season kick-off this Saturday night in Regina. This marks the first countable encounter since their exhilarating seven-game playoff series last April, despite a previous meeting in the exhibition season.

The Blades, having achieved 14 goals of their 16 initial objectives last year, are not taking this forthcoming season lightly. Head Coach Brennan Sonne harbor stark expectations for the year ahead. “Our goal is clear– to win the East Division banner for first place in the regular season and secure a WHL championship. It’s as plain as that,” affirmed Sonne post-practice. However, achieving this ambitious goal will require veteran players to guide and educate the newcomers about the Blades’ unwavering ethos.

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Following Aidan De La Gorgendiere’s departure, the role of team captain has been bestowed upon third-year Blade Trevor Wong, making him the team’s 62nd captain. Despite having a quieter demeanor than his predecessor, Sonne believes Wong possesses the essential “X-factor”— his competitiveness, passionate spirit, and camaraderie are intrinsic values to become an effective leader.

Wong, no stranger to the leadership role, having donned the captain’s initial in his previous teams, acknowledges the elevated level of responsibility playing in the WHL. “This is an immense honor for me and significantly special to wear the C for the Saskatoon Blades this season,” Wong humbly adds.

In the 2022-23 season, Wong outdid his previous record with 27 goals and 59 assists, attributing much of his success to his linemates. With the comforts of experience under his belt, Wong sheds light on his enhanced confidence, which leads to better performance year after year.

Despite being ranked ninth in the CHL’s Preseason Top 10, Wong remains unfazed by the pressure of being labeled a contender for the championship. “Our prize lies in the championship, not the Top 10 ranking. We remain focused on our ultimate goal and maintain our day-by-day approach with high standards,” mentioned Wong.

Among the newcomers, Slovakian import defenseman Samuel Barcik finds juggling the challenges of a smaller rink, strange language, and unfamiliar country music in the dressing room as part of his WHL journey. Having a supportive team and a warm billet family has eased Barcik’s settling-in process. “I miss my home, but the support from my billets along with the friendly Blade community feels just like family,” Barcik recounts.

By October 10, the team needs to trim the rosters to three 20-year-olds. Consequently, the Blades recently moved overage forward Jayden Wiens to Brandon. Now, the coaching staff has to decide among Trevor Wong, Charlie Wright, Spencer Shugrue, and Jake Chiasson, who currently attends the Edmonton Oilers’ training camp.

The Blades will face Regina Pats at their home turf on Saturday night and will subsequently square off against the Prince Albert Raiders for their first home game of the season at SaskTel Centre Sunday afternoon.