SUMMERSIDE - Springhill's Wes Herrett is wrapping up his junior hockey career at the RBC Cup Canadian junior A hockey championship tournament, which begins this weekend at the Eastlink Arena in Summerside.
"It's crazy that it's here already and it's my last kick at the can, so I'm ready to get going," said Herrett on Thursday.
Herrett and his Summerside Western Capital teammates go into the RBC Cup feeling confident.
"We had a great year and won the league championship," said Herrett. "But there was a little bit of a stumble at the Fred Page by losing to Truro."
The Capitals won the Maritime Hockey League championship series against the Truro Bearcats, but the Bearcats avenged the series loss by winning the Fred Page Cup Eastern Canadian championship in Truro last week.
Four of the Fred Page Cup games were decided by just one goal, including a 3-2 double-overtime loss in Sunday afternoon's championship.
"Truro beating us in double overtime leaves a bitter taste in our mouth but we know we're one of the top teams going into the tournament, so we feel really confident."
Summerside and Truro are two of five teams at the tournament, which also includes the Surrey Eagles, the Brooks Bandits, and the Minnesota Wilderness. The tournament starts Saturday and ends May 19.
Summerside has had only had a few days off since the loss to Truro.
Herrett said it's a bit of a grind.
"At the Fred Page Cup we pretty much played six games in five nights with overtimes," he said. "You're tired but your excited, so the excitement overrides the tiredness, but we had a couple days off so we're ready."
The Capitals first game is against Minnesota Wilderness Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
"Every team here is going to be great," said Herrett. "Minnesota won their championship and earned their way, so there's not going to be any easy games."
Herrett was playing for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's PEI Rocket earlier this season, but after having his rights traded he joined the Summerside Western Capitals at Christmastime.
"The transition has been pretty seamless," said Herrett. "I got used to PEI last year when I went to the Rocket. I love it here on the Island."
He also loves his new team.
"I've never been on a team that is so close. We're 24 brothers," he said. "We won a championship together and that was so special, and no matter what happens I won a championship in my last year of junior, so that feels great."
He also loves the Eastlink Arena.
"I played in the Q for two years and played in all those rinks, and this rink in Summerside is amazing," he said. "There's access to so many things. There's a bowling alley, there's swimming lanes and there's an unbelievable dressing room."
And he loves the fans.
He said the fans were great all season but their fanaticism really showed itself during the playoffs.
"We’d be playing in Miramichi and Woodstock and Truro and they’d take a fan bus up and be louder than the home team fans,” he said. "In Woodstock there was a malfunction with the sound system during the singing of O Canada, and our fans started belting it out. It was amazing."
Herrett and three teammates have their own house in Summerside, five minutes away from the arena.
"It's a small town like Springhill and everybody knows everybody, and everybody is passionate about hockey, so they treat us great us great here."
Herrett will likely play university hockey but will decide after the RBC Cup where he will go to school.
He says he will miss playing junior hockey.
"I've played on five different teams and I've met a lot of amazing people and I've grown as an individual," he said. "It's honestly been the best time of my life."
Herrett also thanked his friends in Springhill for their support throughout the season and his junior career.
“I miss everybody back in Springhill,” he said.