The first thing we noticed as we stepped out of the bus in Medicine Hat was the temperature. It was minus 16, cold by Okanagan standards. One thing about the prairies at this time of the year is the blue, clear sky. The sun shines brightly in these parts. See, I have my southwest Saskatchewan slang back.
It's a homecoming for Rockets MacKenzie Johnston and Colton Heffley. The two were born and raised in Swift Current, as was assistant coach Ryan Cuthbert and yours truly.
Friendly barbs are always exchanged between teammates and coaching staff as visiting players attempt to trash the town that a teammate calls home. For many rookies playing in Swift Current, a community of just under 16 thousand, is a first time experience. The last time the Rockets were in Swift Current was two years ago to the day (Dec 8th) when the Rockets earned a 3-2 win.
Best quote as we were driving down Highway One through Swift Current came from rookie forward Tyson Baillie. "They have a McDonalds here. This is the best place ever". (tongue in cheek).
The Credit Union I-Plex is where the Broncos call home. While it doesn't look appealing from the outside, inside they've done some good work. A new score clock is the latest edition to the 'home of the Broncos'.
Don't get into a street fight with Broncos trainer Jamie LeBlanc. He is wearing shorts in this weather! Don't call him soft. He's 'Saskatchewan Tough'. LeBlanc was a friendly face as we walked into the visitors dressing room.
Before we head to the hotel we make a quick detour to Wong's Kitchen. This is chinese food at it's finest. I know no different. I took my wife of 18 years to this restaurant on our first date. The food hasn't changed, nor the decor. Great place. Loved it!