HUDSON, Wis. – The Oklahoma Warriors and Bismarck Bobcats hosted a dual camp in Hudson, Wisconsin, Friday through Sunday which featured over 80 invitees across both organizations.
The event was unique compared to other main camps in the NAHL. Each franchise chose 40 players and created two teams to represent them. The teams then got to play against each other in two all-star games.
Oklahoma Warriors Head Coach and General Manager Garrett Roth said the combined outing raised stakes for the players when compared to having a single-team camp.
“They felt like real, regular season games with the amount of chirping going back and forth, dirty plays and fighting, so it definitely had more intensity and a different atmosphere than a normal main camp,” said Roth. “With two different organizations competing against one another, and guys trying to make a team, nobody let up. It was pretty physical”
“There’s a lot of value with the way we did it,” said Roth. “I think Bismarck was really pleased with the setup, and I absolutely loved it. Especially for first year guys who haven’t played in the league yet, for them to experience the intensity and the emotions of what a regular game can look like at our level was invaluable experience.”
Roth said that the camp gave him added insight into how his roster will shape up ahead of the 2022-23 season.
“There were definitely some guys who played their way onto our roster this weekend,” said Roth. “We have a nice nucleus of veterans and players who we’ve tendered and drafted and we’re bringing back some who were free agents to give them an opportunity to make our team. Some guys really showcased what they can bring. We were excited to see that.”
The Oklahoma Warriors players will report to Oklahoma City by August 20, and the 2022-23 season will officially begin with the 2022 NAHL Showcase September 14. Though there is a month between team workouts, Roth said that does not change the coaching staff’s expectations of the players when they report back.
“We’re going to go really hard,” said Roth. “We can see what the guys are made of, what their limits are and see how they respond to certain situations. That’s our time to start creating our habits and our style of play so we can have success this year.”