Waye ready for workhorse role in Ramblers net

Jody Jewers
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AMHERST - Jon Waye is ready.
Ready for the comparisons, ready for the pressure and, most importantly, ready to play - a lot.
The 18-year-old Fredericton resident spent the bulk of the previous Maritime Junior A Hockey League season watching from the Amherst Ramblers' bench as 20-year-old incumbent goalie Andrew Flemming led the league in minutes played for the second straight season and cemented his reputation as a reliable workhorse between the pipes.
Waye only appeared in 15 games last season, posting a 4-7 record with a 3.57 goals-against average and .893 save percentage. This year, Waye is expected to carry the load in much the same fashion Flemming did, with the Ramblers' fate largely resting on his six-foot-two, 170-pound frame.
"I can't wait," Waye said. "I've been friends and have worked with Andrew the past three or four years, and he's taught me well. I'm ready to step in and be a leader in the net for this team."
Waye has won provincial titles at the peewee, bantam and midget levels, and been the No. 1 goalie for much of his hockey career, so last year was an adjustment.
"I knew I wasn't going to play much," he said. "My role was to be positive and to keep other guys positive, and I think I was able to do that."
Waye admitted to some disappointment in trying to break through to the next level, having attended training camp with the P.E.I. Rocket of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League each of the last three years but failing to crack their lineup.
"I thought I'd come close to making it a couple times, but it just didn't work out," he said. "And there were times that I'd get a little down on myself, but it's something I just have to put behind me and move on."
Waye will need to be a steady hand on a much younger Ramblers squad, which has only two 20-year-olds on its roster to begin the season.
"Jon's the guy we want here for the next three seasons," said Ramblers head coach and general manager Corey Crocker. "He's paid his dues and learned from Andrew, and now it's his turn to lead.
"We know he'll have some good nights and bad nights, but what we want to see as a coaching staff is consistency, which is what Andrew was able to bring us. Jon has been a winner at every level and we're confident he can continue that at this level."
The Ramblers begin their regular season at home to the Yarmouth Mariners on Saturday at 7 p.m.

jjewers@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Maritime Junior A Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Geographic location: Fredericton

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