Head Coach TJ Hill and his staff are preparing the Stouffville Spirit for Game 1 of their 2023-24 OJHL season this Friday. The home opener goes Saturday night. 

The exhibition season is over.

The Stouffville Spirit is gearing up for this week’s opening of the Ontario Junior Hockey League regular season.

The Spirit begins with a two-game, home-and-home series with York Region rivals the Aurora Tigers.

The teams meet Friday night in Aurora and Saturday at the Stouffville Arena. Both games start at 7:30.

The Spirit went 4-2-0 during the preseason, closing it out with a pair of losses: 7-3 to Aurora in Stouffville Thursday and 3-2 to the Haliburton County Huskies in Minden Saturday.

Shorthanded in recent days – 19 players in Stouffville’s training camp attended Ontario Hockey League camps last week – the Spirit will have numbers when practices resume Tuesday at the Stouffville Arena.

The Spirit’s large network of talented affiliated players paid dividends last week. Ten APs played in Thursday’s game alone.

One of them, highly touted 15-year-old Logan Hawrey from Barrie, scored. Third-year forward Peter Kioussis netted the other two goals.

Veterans Cam Koskurko and Nathan Twohey scored in Minden Saturday.

Plan to arrive early for Saturday’s home opener. Popular Stouffville band The Muffin Men will perform outside the arena from 6:45 p.m. to 7:20. They’ll also sing the national anthem during the opening ceremonies.