Local players, cheap tickets: West Coast Senior Hockey League drops 1st puck this weekend

1 / 4
Local players, cheap tickets: West Coast Senior Hockey League drops 1st puck this weekend

Local hockey is coming back to Newfoundland's west coast.

The West Coast Senior Hockey League starts its season this weekend, the first time in decades the region has seen such a league.

The Deer Lake Red Wings, Corner Brook Royals, Stephenville Jets and Port aux Basques Mariners will compete this season, which is set to run through March.

The first game kicks off Saturday night, when the Red Wings take on the Royals in Deer Lake.

The West Coast Senior Hockey League was started after the Central West Hockey League cut this season short because of poor attendance and financial problems.

Fans needed

The players and coaches in the new league will not be paid and will only be made up of local players from each community

 As well, tickets will only cost $8 per seat in an attempt to bring in fans. The cost is only $5 for kids 12 and under.

"If we don't support it, it can't happen," said Sandra Pinksen, Deer Lake's deputy mayor.

"So we have to come out as fans in our communities, and let the league know that we are behind them. We want this and we want to keep it."

The season will run for a month, and the league won't schedule games on Sundays when turnout is usually low.

President of the Port aux Basques Mariners Shannon Battiste said his community backs the new league, and thinks those measures – along with only having local players – will be enough to fill seats.

"To get the team players back and no paying players and everything. It's just your local players out," he said

"At least then when you are watching your team play, you knows the players that's out there. It's not imports that is brought in from different places."