The Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League opened its pre-season this evening at the East Hants Sportsplex in Lantz. The league is holding its annual OPOE Tournament this Friday through Sunday, and all 6 teams from the Fred Fox Division will be represented.

The tournament is unique in a couple of different ways. The teams obviously use this weekend as a way to assess, select, and develop their players. However, the rules allow 25 players to be dressed, so there’s always an interesting mix of skill levels. And with some teams seeing up to 45-50 players in camp, it’s not uncommon to have a team dress 25 players in one game, and then a few hours later ice a team featuring 15 or 20 completely different players.

Adding to the fun, the league uses this weekend as a way to assess and train officials. That leads to some very tight calls and lots and lots of powerplays. As a former coach in this tournament, it was just as normal to see 30 minutes or more of 5 on 4, 4 on 4, and even 3 on 3 than it was to see 5 on 5.

You really never know what you’re going to see. The only guarantee is entertainment.

The schedule is listed here on the NSJHL website. Head to East Hants and see what I’m talking about!

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