STRAIT AREA: The Cape Breton West High School Hockey League (CBWHSHL) is set to return to action tonight (Wednesday, October 18) with the first games of the season.

The SAREC Saints will host the Richmond Academy Hurricane and the Inverness Rebels with visit the Eskasoni Coyotes. Both games start at 7 p.m.

This season will see six teams compete in the local league. In addition to the previously mentioned squads, the Cape Breton Highlands Academy Huskies (including players from NDA) will compete. On the subject of merged teams, the Rebels will have a roster including players from Baddeck.

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Rounding out the league is the Dalbrae Dragons, a squad that had competed in the Northern Nova Scotia High School Hockey League.

Having said that, none of the high school hockey teams were competing last year due to the stalemate between the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and the Province of Nova Scotia. The 2017-18 season will be a return to the rink for all the squads.

Last season wasn’t a complete dead zone for high school hockey, as the Richmond Academy Hurricane managed to host their annual “Rock Ya Like a Hurricane” tournament. The championship game saw drew between 500-600 fans to the Richmond Arena.

The Hurricane will host another tournament in December for all league teams. Other highlights for this season include a CBWHSHL All-Star Game and skills competition on December 30 hosted by Dalbrae.

In March, SAERC will host the CBWHSHL play-down tournament.

This year, there will be a 20-game league schedule, with each team playing two home games and two away games against each other. All six teams will make the play-offs. There will be three play-off rounds, and each round consists of a best-of-three series.