Open regular season on road tonight
Amherst Ramblers veteran Andrew Chipman falls after colliding with the Summerside Western Capitals Korey Cooke during exhibition action earlier this week in Springhill. The Ramblers will open the 2007-08 Maritime Junior A Hockey league season on the road tonight when they play the Pictou County Weeks Crushers in a 7:30 p.m. contest. Darrell Cole - Amherst Daily News
NEW GLASGOW - Its on.
The 2007-08 Maritime Junior A Hockey league season will officially commence for the Amherst Ramblers tonight when they are hosted by the Pictou County Weeks Crushers.
The Crushers, thee 2008 host of the Fred Page Cup Eastern Canadian Junior A Hockey championships in April, the precursor to the Royal Bank Cup national championships.
Pictou will be different from what we saw last season, Corey Crocker, coach and GM of the Ramblers, said.
Theyll have more skill than last year as theyve spent some money. Troy (head coach Ryan) is a hard-nosed coach and he expects hard work and he gets it, he added.
The contest will also feature Amherstonian Scott McManaman, who toiled with the Ramblers for two seasons, and will be one of the leaders of the Crushers this season.
We had Scotty here for two years and when he came to us and wanted a trade for educational purposes, we granted that trade, Crocker said.
Hes a good player but a better person. He still has lots of friends on this team and Im sure theyll get fired up to play each other tonight and back at our barn on Saturday, he added.
After three days of workouts, the coaching staff is pleased with where the team is heading into the opening week of play.
The Ramblers were close in the majority of their exhibition games despite only winning twice, their final two games with the Summerside Western Capitals. This was the trend throughout the pre-season on all fronts and this could bode well for a balanced league throughout.
These kids have done all weve asked and more and they are as excited as we are about the start of the season and where this group can go with hard work, Cocker said.
The team has been pared down to 24 players with several others still waiting word at their respective major junior tryouts.
A few additional bodies have been kept around in case of injuries This includes two local hopefuls in forward Adam MacDonald and defenseman Justin Landry, a pair of lanky 17-year-olds.