The Grande Prairie Drillers are in it to win it.

For the first time in two years, they’re hosting a playoff game in town, as they play the Red Deer Buccaneers in the quarterfinals Saturday.

President Travis Miller says he’s optimistic about their chances both this weekend and into the finals.

“I think we have a strong enough team to not only advance deep into the playoffs, but also having a strong team at home definitely gives us a strong advantage over a team like Red Deer, who’s a predominately strong team but travelling up to Grande Prairie, hopefully we can have their number this weekend.”

The Drillers finished 5-2 this season putting them in third place, ahead of the Buccaneers in sixth.

That’s a great improvement over their 3-4 record last year.

Miller says much of their growth comes from two key pieces of the puzzle: a stable coach and quarterback, two things they were missing last year.

“This year we have Nathan Aldred as a head coach and he has done a phenomenal job. The second part of that is having a stable quarterback: somebody who is at every practice, who understands our offence, and is a very good leader, and that’s John Warr.”

The game starts at 7 on August 16th.

Tickets are $5 at the gate, but if you make it down to TurCon Construction at 10101 100th Avenue before 4 p.m. Friday you can grab some for free.