Kamloop, B.C. — The Calgary Flames have a hockey game Saturday night, but not the NHL’s Kamloopers.
That’s not to say they don’t have fans — they do.
But there are no NHL fans at the newly renovated Kamlopps arena, where the Calgary Flames host the B.E.N.L. in a preseason game.
It’s the fourth-ever Kamlooping Hockey Show, and the first time the arena has hosted an NHL game, even though it is a full-season facility that opened in April.
It’ll be Kamlooppas second time hosting an NHL exhibition game.
The last time was in 2010, when the Vancouver Canucks played the New York Rangers.
The NHL and the Kamlooper Association of Canada have agreed to keep the arena open for the preseason game because the BCA will host a charity hockey game the next day, Saturday, Sept. 15.
The arena is a unique arena in Kamlopp’s hockey world, as it’s a full stadium.
There are no concession stands inside the building, but fans can buy hockey tickets in the stands and watch the game on the big screen, behind the goal.
“We’re very excited that we’re going to have that opportunity to bring the game back to Kamlopits fans,” said Kamloopa hockey player and president Mark Zegar.
“It’s been a very special experience to play in here.”
It’ll mark the first hockey game at the venue since the end of the 2010-11 season.
The NHL decided not to make a game at this time because of a number of scheduling issues.
“I’m looking forward to being back on the ice,” said Flames goalie Mike McKenna.
“But we’re also looking forward for the fans, especially the Kamlos fans.
We’ve had them for a long time.”
The Kamloopes arena is the first NHL arena to host an exhibition game since the 2011-12 season.
It opened in early April, the same month the NHL expanded from its current home in Buffalo to Winnipeg.
The Kamlos have always had a soft spot for hockey.
“Our team has played at Kamloopolis arena before,” said hockey player Kyle Leopold.
“But when we were there in 2010 we were always the ones who got in the way, which was unfortunate.”
There’s always been a little bit of rivalry with the other teams in Kamlos arena.
“You know, we always like to go up against them.
And it was always like that,” said former Kamlos goaltender Josh Caddell.”
In the years that I’ve been playing, I always felt like the competition was a little better than the competition we had in Winnipeg.
We had a lot of rivalry.
But it’s been cool.
It’s nice to be able to go back and be a part of it again.”