The Newfoundland Growlers kickstart their 2022-23 campaign against North Division rivals, the Reading Royals, in a three-game set beginning on Friday night at Mary Brown’s Centre.
Newfoundland head into the new season with 12 returning players from the team that reached the Eastern Conference Finals last year, while the number of local skaters is up to six with the additions of forwards Brett Budgell and Jordan Escott.
Their biggest change is in goal where the Growlers have two exciting new prospects in Dryden McKay and Luke Cavallin – a rookie tandem that should both see plenty of action to open their professional careers.
Reading looks a much more youthful outfit than the group who finished 1st in the North Division standings in 2021-22. The Royals have 12 rookies on their current roster, while the bulk of the forward group that gave the Growlers trouble in the past has since moved on.
The last time these two teams squared off was back on May 16 at Santander Arena where Newfoundland completed an epic second round comeback, taking down the Royals 4-2 in Game 7 to overturn a 3-1 series deficit.
Although both rosters have been altered since their last meeting, fans can expect a Royals team with redemption on the mind taking on a Growlers group set on starting the new season on the right foot.
Puck drops is set for 7:00 pm on Friday and Saturday evening, while the action gets underway at 4:00 pm on Sunday afternoon. Growlers fans can watch all three games live on FloSports (subscription required), listen to the call on Mixlr, or follow along on Twitter (@NLGrowlers) for game updates and highlights. Tickets for all three games can be purchased at nlgrowlers.com/tickets.
WHO TO WATCH:
NFL – Tyler Boland (F): Labelled the pride of Outer Cove during his prolific goal scoring run across the back half of last year, Boland gets an opportunity to start his sophomore season in his hometown from day one. Fresh off a 16-goal postseason output last spring, the 26-year-old feels a safe bet to pick up where he left off.
REA – Trey Bradley(F): Growlers fans should recognize this name as Bradley previously suited up for Newfoundland during the 2019-20 season. After splitting last year between the Utah Grizzlies and Colorado Eagles (AHL), Bradley has landed in Reading to start this year and could prove to be a thorn in the side of his old club.