The Newfoundland Growlers are back on the ice for the first time in more than a year and a half preparing for the upcoming ECHL hockey season.
After the Growlers' 2019-20 season ended abruptly with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the entire North Division — including the Growlers — opted out of play last season, the team finally began training camp at the Glacier Arena in Mount Pearl on Wednesday.
Captain James Melindy, who's from the St. John's neighbourhood of Goulds, says it's exciting for the players to be skating again and gearing up for games in front of the team's fans.
"When you take some time away from the game, you don't realize how much you miss it until it's gone. I feel very fortunate that we're able to get back and able to get Growlers hockey back here in Newfoundland," he said.
"It seems like there's been quite a good buzz around the city with the excitement of having hockey games come back and we'll hopefully bring another exciting team to the ice."
The training camp continues until Tuesday, ahead of the team's first game of the season on the road against the Trois-Rivières Lions on Thursday.