It will be a banner afternoon for the Humboldt Midget AA Broncos on Sunday, as they get set to defend their crown in the Centre Four Hockey League.
The Broncos are set to open the 2015-16 campaign at 2:00pm when they host the Martensville Marauders.
Prior to the game, a ceremony will take place where they will raise last year's championship banner, says Head Coach Chris Hamilton.
"Just before the game starts, we're going to get everybody back on the ice, raise the banner, and reminisce on what those guys went through last year to get that thing hanging up there with their names on it."
In March, the Broncos claimed the league crown with a 7-1 win over the Beardy's Blackhawks in the third and decisive game of the series.
Over 1,200 fans packed the Elgar Petersen Arena that night for an evening that still brings emotion for Hamilton.
"Still talking about it gives a guy goosebumps. You can't put into words what it feels like for the kids like that, and even us as coaches to go through something like that," he said. "That goes to the people of Humboldt that come out and support all the minor hockey teams and the junior team as well. It was a good night for everybody."
Looking ahead to a new year and new challenges, the team has seven returning players from last year's roster, including forward Jacob Leicht, who stole the show in Game 3 of the CFHL Final, notching four points, including a hat trick.
Leicht is joined by Reagan Poncelet, who placed second on the team in scoring, Morgan Gobeil, Dayden Dvernichuk, Colton Halvorson, Thomas Bollefer, and the gritty Tanner Gerwing, who led the team in penalty minutes.
Hamilton says that the returning players will need to be the backbone of the team.
"Good core guys are coming back. The guys that were young last year are now going to be looked upon this year to step up and be those leaders in the room."
The task to repeat as champions does get more difficult this year, not only with continued roster turnover, but a league expansion as well.
Six new teams are now members of league play, with five of them out of Saskatoon, including the Riverkings, who defeated the Broncos in the provincial semi-finals last season. Martensville is also new to the league.
Sunday's game is just one of two home games for the Broncos until December. They host the Saskatoon Spartans on November 15 before six games at the EPA throughout December.