Saturday Sports: Watertown Wolves ready for upcoming season

Published: Aug. 21, 2021 at 11:01 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - For the first time in a year and a half, the Watertown Wolves will be back on the ice in October after sitting out last season in the Federal Prospects Hockey League due to COVID concerns.

The 2021-22 season should be an exciting one for Wolves fans both on and off the ice.

The league released it’s 2021-22 schedule last week, and the Wolves open up their season hosting Binghamton for a pair of contests on Friday, October 29th and Saturday, October 30th and close out the regular season with a home contest against Danbury on April 15th.

All part of a 59 game regular season Wolves owner Andreas Johansson is looking forward to.

”I think it’s a great schedule for Watertown. We’re looking forward to a lot of games around the Christmas period and a lot of great Fridays and Saturdays and also quite a few Sundays after football which traditionally it’s a very popular night,” said Johansson.

The league will be comprised of 7 teams this year, with the Elmira Enforcers electing to sit out this season due to issues with their home arena.

A traditional rival for the Wolves the past few seasons, Johansson says losing the Enforcers is a hit to the league for a number of reasons.

”I mean, obviously, it’s a real shame that we lost them for several reasons. Playing with 8 teams, obviously, the schedule is infinitely better as far as not having teams sitting out an entire weekend. For that reason alone, it was a shame. Also, we had a pretty good rivalry I think, coming up with them after what happened last year. I think it would have been tremendous games,” said Johansson.

As far as the roster is concerned, the Wolves picked up 3 Elmira players in the dispersal draft, and besides adding a few more pieces, Johansson says Wolves fans can expect to see most of the players from last year’s roster back in Watertown this season.

”We’re losing 3 guys that will return to Delaware. Basey and Bryce Litke as well as Jacob Boll. All 3 were Delaware players that we acquired from them. Obviously, Ryan Marker wanted to play closer to home, he’s also playing in Delaware this season. Other than that, for the most part, the players are coming back. I’m sure there will be some changes, a couple of guys. Cody Porter, who was our goalie last year, is now playing professionally in the highest division in Finland,” said Johansson.

And with a little over 2 months to go before the opening game, Johansson says the front office is continuing to work hard off the ice getting ready for fans at the games and some new sponsors joining the teams for the 2021-22 season.

”We’re certainly ready. I think it’s wonderful to see Clarkie and BoJo, you know, they’re out there working every day and meeting sponsors and the community is just so excited and we’re having some new, great corporate partners also that are coming in for the season. They’re seeing maybe what’s coming. We’re trying to be more visible in the community than maybe the team has been in the past,” said Johansson.

For Johansson, he hopes it’s a season to remember for the Wolves both on and off the ice.

The St. Lawrence Football Team held their annual Red-White Intra-squad Scrimmage Saturday night under the lights at Leckonby Stadium.

For the Saints, it will be the first time since November of 2019 the players have seen live action in a game type setting.

The team has been practicing for a little over a week, and for the players, getting back on the field has been an incredible feeling.

”Oh, I can’t even tell you what it feels like. The guys are all so excited just to be back in the locker room around one another. I think the hardest thing was just being separated from people that you spent almost 365 days a year with. We’re just all so excited to be back in the locker room and be around each other once again,” said quarterback Tyler Grochot.

We’ll hear more from the Saints Sunday night as we speak with Grochot, Caleb Null and Coach Dan Puckhaber about expectations for the Saints in 2021.

Victory CFC 32 Full Contact MMA action took place Saturday night at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds Arena as Escape from Quarantine took place.

14 total fights in all weight classes took place.

Local MMA fighters were in action along with some of the best from around the northeast.

A good crowd was on hand for the first MMA action in the area since COVID-19 hit back in March of 2020.

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