It’s been 32 years since the Midland Flyers won a league title, something that the staff hope to change in 2018/2019.
Back in 1986 they were called the Centennials and were able to win the Georgian Bay Junior C Hockey League title in back to back years; fast forward the Flyers have made the playoffs in both years of the Provincial Junior Hockey League.
In 2018/2018 they finished fifth in the North Carruthers Division but bowed out in the opening round to the Penetang Kings in six games.
“We’re now considered a feeder team for the Newmarket Hurricanes of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. We’re working hand and hand with them and having talks with a lot of players that are on the cusp of playing Junior A but just need another year of development.”
Butcher confirms that he is waiting on four or five players from last years squad that are making a bid for the Junior ‘A’ ranks.
The Flyers, due to the uncertainty of players at other camps, made the decision this summer to not hold a main camp for players. Butcher took the coaching reigns last year and changed course to instead have Sunday skates. Butcher says the skate focus on conditioning and include drills that increase the drive of players like 2 on 2’s going after the puck in the corner and seeing who emerges with the biscuit to get a shot on the goalie.
Midland dropped their opener in the pre-season 5-0 to the Uxbridge Bruins Friday. The Flyers get the Bruins Sunday afternoon at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Center.
Some coaches during exhibition games stand or sit above the ice, not Chris Butcher.
“I like to be behind the bench to gauge the emotion on the boys, how they react to different situations. I like to see a good overall attitude and effort on the ice during these games. At the same time it’s tough, a lot of these boys have never played together and you might find yourself on a line with a player that you’re competing against for a spot on the team”.
The remainder of the Flyers pre-season looks like this…
August 19th vs. Uxbridge Bruins 2:30pm North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre
2nd Annual Ayr Centennials Exhibition Showcase
August 25th vs. Clarington Eagles 11:40am
August 25th vs. Mitchell Hawks 2:20pm
August 25th vs. Ayr Centennials 5:00pm
August 29th @ Penetang Kings 8:00pm
September 5th vs. Penetang Kings 7:30pm North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre