The Norman Northstars saw the level of competition they値l be facing in the upcoming Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League at a pre-season tournament in Souris Sept. 21-22 and came away knowing they値l have to up their game when the regular season starts on Thanksgiving weekend if they hope to have a couple of home wins before heading out on the road in the third week of regular season play.
The Pembina Valley Hawks jumped all over the Northstars in Norman痴 first preseason game, outscoring the Thompson-based team 7-1.
The Northstars improved offensively and defensively in their subsequent pre-season games, giving up fewer goals and scoring more but still ending up on the bottom end of a 5-3 score against the Eastman Selects and 3-1 against the Southwest Cougars.
The midget hockey team opens its season at home against the Brandon Wheat Kings on Oct. 5-6 and remains in the C.A. Nesbitt Arena for the season痴 second weekend, when they host the always-strong Winnipeg Wild.