The Boston Blazers may be a new team, but Andrew McBride gets to face an old friend when they make their first visit to the Saddledome.
The Calgary Roughnecks defender grew up with Blazers rookie forward Gary Bining and considers him his best friend.
But McBride promises not to let up on Bining, even though their parents have made the trip from Vancouver to see the game.
"We've been looking forward to this weekend for a while," McBride said. "It's an exciting time for us."
Bining and the Blazers are the surprise team in the National Lacrosse League this season.
Despite just assembling this group in December, the expansion outfit is off to a 5-3 start, with all of those wins coming in the past six games after an 0-2 start.
Bining is a big part of that, with 13 goals and 13 assists in eight games.
"He's tearing it up right now," McBride said of his 27-year-old friend, who he plays summer lacrosse with in Coquitlam.
"He's a great player and I'm glad he's finally getting a shot. He's definitely worthy of playing in this league."
The Blazers lucked out in acquiring talent.
With the Arizona Sting officially folding, the Blazers were able to select sniper Dan Dawson in the dispersal draft.
They took future star Daryl Veltman with the first pick in the entry draft, then found a No.-1 goalie when Chicago folded and they got Anthony Cosmo in the dispersal of the Shamrox.
Although Dawson and Cosmo are the only real veterans, the Blazers have built a solid team right off the bat.
"Cosmo is a top three goalie and Dawson is one of the best players," McBride said.
"When you have two guys to build around, it's easier for other guys to come in and fill the roles.
"You have to tip your hat to that group. Their offence is moving the ball. They have a cohesive unit.
"They are playing exceptionally well for an expansion team, to the point where I wouldn't really call them an expansion team."