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Saskatoon Stars settling into their new home at SaskTel Centre

Click to play video 'Saskatoon Stars settling into their new home at SaskTel Centre' Saskatoon Stars settling into their new home at SaskTel Centre
WATCH: The Saskatoon Stars would normally call Merlis Belsher Place home, but that has been transformed into a field hospital in case of a COVID-19 outbreak.

The Saskatoon Stars of the Saskatchewan Female U-18 AAA Hockey League are now hanging their hats at SaskTel Centre.

They would normally call Merlis Belsher Place home, but that has been transformed into a field hospital in case of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Read more: 4 hockey teams move after Saskatoon rink turned into coronavirus field hospital

They are now getting used to the much larger confines of the province’s biggest arena.

“Obviously not ideal in terms of losing our home space but understandable with the current situation, but coming here and getting to move into a fantastic facility as well, (I) can’t complain,” said Stars head coach Robin Ulrich.

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“There are a lot worse situations that we could be in. So this is a pretty good option for us and a pretty good second home for this year.”

This year has been mired in postponements and cancellations, and for three members of the Stars, they had the U-18 nationals taken away from them, as it wasn’t postponed but just outright cancelled early on in the pandemic.

“We were kind of anticipating a postponement until February or March, but a full cancellation is pretty tough and it’s tough for the Grade 12 players who don’t get a chance to represent their province,” Ulrich said.

Stars captain Makena Kushniruk had been looking forward to a chance to repeat last year’s success.

“It was very exciting for us last year; getting Saskatchewan’s first medal was super exciting and we wish we could have done it again this year,” said Kushniruk.

“We just had such a great team and coaching and leadership, that I think that really helped carry us and pull off a medal.”

Stars assistant coach Kori Herner was also disappointed the tournament was cancelled.

“I never played Team Sask, so for me it would have been a first experience and I know the girls were, too, so it was pretty disappointing that it didn’t happen,” said Herner.

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“But I’m sure we will keep building moving forward and we will get another opportunity to go with them the next couple of years.”

Read more: Saskatoon Grade 12 student-athletes might have to find new ways to earn athletic scholarships

The Stars are just happy that they are back playing and will make the most of playing at the big arena where they watched so many other teams play while growing up.

“Big ice surface, new to me, figure out the boards, figure out what works out here, so our team can hopefully play teams here and win some games,” Herner said.

The Stars are hoping to begin their season in the second half of March.