The Williams Lake Stampeders are set to play their rivals from the north, the Quesnel Kangaroos, Saturday night, Oct. 16, 2021. (Williams Lake Tribune file photo)

The Williams Lake Stampeders are set to play their rivals from the north, the Quesnel Kangaroos, Saturday night, Oct. 16, 2021. (Williams Lake Tribune file photo)

Williams Lake Stampeders season home opener set for Saturday night at CMRC

“You can feel the excitement to get back to hockey”

After a year of being sidelined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Williams Lake Stampeders are preparing for a barn burner Saturday night, Oct. 16, at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex against their old rivals, the Quesnel Kangaroos.

“We are beyond thrilled,” said Janna Gertzen, who is in charge of sponsorships and marketing for the team. “Hockey is just a big part of our lives in Williams Lake in the winter so it will be nice to get a little bit back to normal.”

Proof of vaccination will be required for all fans, players, staff and volunteers (12 years of age and older) attending the games and everyone will also be required to wear a mask inside the complex in accordance with provincial mandates.

Gertzen said fans can expect to see lots of new, young faces on the team as well as some familiar ones in the line up, including Stamps goalie Chief Willie Sellars.

“Hockey and sports are medicine for me,” Sellars told the Tribune in anticipation of the season opener. “Looking forward to another season and it’s going to be good to see and hear the fans. Very stoked to also see all the young guys out there.”

Capacity is capped at 550 tickets, whereas pre-pandemic sales could see more than a 1,000 fans sitting and standing to take in the games. New for this year, tickets can be purchased online as well as at the door.

Gertzen said fewer ticket sales due to the reduced capacity as well as fewer sponsors this year will add more challenges to the season, however, they are hoping to have a successful season.

At Saturday’s game, fans can expect to see the puck toss, program draw, Chuck’s t-shirt cannon and also Stamps merchandise available for purchase.

Chrissie Gertzen said fan support in the way of ticket sales online have been wonderful.

“You can feel the excitement to get back to hockey.”

Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.

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