The Saginaw Spirit are back in action after more than a year and Wednesday players laced up their skates to play in one of their many preseason games.
Spirit fans were able to catch one of the first glimpses of this year’s rooster Wednesday. Fans are ecstatic to see their favorite team back on the ice.
The Saginaw Spirit are back in person for their 20th year as a franchise and fans are here for the excitement.
Saginaw resident Charles Stroble has been watching Saginaw’s hockey team for decades.
"Just excited to be back within the crowd and watching the hockey live."
COVID-19 put an end to watching the Spirit last year.
"I did watch some of the Red Wings on tv and that, but it was kind of a bummer not to be able to come out to the arena and watch them live," Stroble said.
The team had their second scrimmage Wednesday at the Saginaw Bay Ice Arena.
Bernie Payne is another longtime hockey fan.
"It's good. I mean, it's not the same as a game but it's, I mean, you get in, there's a thing, people think I'm crazy, but the smell of the ice. You know? Just the sounds of the game," Payne said.
He missed the ice too.
"Good to see people, friends and stuff that you've met over the years going to games. You know, it's the first step back. Baby steps," Payne said.
The team has some work to do with plenty of new players and strategies to iron out. Opening night of the regular season is in mid-October at the Dow Event Center against the Erie Otters.
"I'm just looking forward to some level normalcy. I don't know if we can get there yet but we're hopeful. This is a good first step," Payne said.