Everett Silvertips provided opportunities for Saskatoon Blades head coach Mitch Love

Mitch Love spent seven years on the coaching staff of the Everett Silvertips before being hired by the Saskatoon Blades as their new head coach. File / Global News

It’s a date that’s been circled on the calendar since the day the Western Hockey League released the 2018-19 schedule.

The Saskatoon Blades take on the Everett Silvertips on Wednesday as they wrap up a five-game home stand.

Mitch Love spent seven years on the coaching staff of the Silvertips before being hired this past spring by the Blades as their new head coach.

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He also played for the Silvertips in its first two years of existence.

“That organization gave me a lot of opportunity both as a player and as a coach and to grow as a human being so I owe them a lot for that,” Love said.

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“It will definitely be weird looking over on the other side.”

Love said all will change once the puck drops.

“It’s going to be a competitive battle and we got to try and find a way to win a hockey game before we go out on the road.”

READ MORE: Saskatoon Blades lose tough game against Prince Albert Raiders

The Silvertips first-ever trip to Saskatoon was a memorable one for Love, as he had the best offensive night of his junior career.

The defenseman had a goal and four assists as the Silvertips downed the Blades 5-2.

“The next night in Moose Jaw it was probably my worst game of the year, so I can tell you that five-point night went to my head a little bit,” Love said.

“But I do remember it was Brent Ashton’s jersey retirement night so there was a big crowd. As a young kid, you’re always thrilled to get out east and go on those road trips and to have a night like that was something that didn’t happen very often during my career in the Western League.”

One of the Blades goal scorers in that game, Ryan Keller, is now one of Love’s assistant coaches.

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Keller said the game came up when Love was hired.

“I have a hard enough time remembering last month or last year let alone however many years ago that was,” he said.

The Blades head to Alberta after Wednesday’s game for a three-game road trip starting Friday in Red Deer.

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