ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) For the first time since 2006, professional hockey is back in Roanoke.
The Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs hit the ice at the Berglund Center on Wednesday morning for their first training camp workout of the new season.
Twenty-five players are trying to make the final, 18-man roster, which will be released early next week.
The Dawgs open the season next Friday night at home against the Knoxville Ice Bears.
And for Coach Sam Ftorek, getting everyone on the same page is the first priority.
“Everyone is nervous. Everyone has got the jitters. They want to make a good impression,” Ftorek said. “What we're trying to do is just evaluate, teach them some stuff, and see who is a great character guy, who's gonna be able to do the best with what we are giving them. There's a lot of information to be had and we're just trying to get them on the ice and see what they can do. We actually want to know what they can't do and then we can fix it.”
The rink at the Berglund Center is getting new doors for the Zamboni.
The team's head coach is even inviting fans to watch the players practice.
“If we see fans in the building before we even have a game, the guys are going to get real pumped and real excited and it only helps us in the long run,” Ftorek said.
The team's first game is October 21. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m.