Chipman named Ramblers captain

Jody Jewers
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AMHERST - Another Chipman will wear the captain's C for the Amherst Ramblers.
Adam Chipman was anointed as the leader of the 42nd edition of the bordertown entry in the Maritime Junior A Hockey League yesterday. His brother, Ryan, an accounting student at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, was the Ramblers' captain in 2005-06.
"It's an honour and it's a lot of responsibility," said Chipman, a 20-year-old Tupperville, Annapolis Co., native. "I called Ryan as soon as I found out and he was pretty excited about it, and my whole family's pretty excited, too.
"I've had to work hard my whole life to get to where I am in hockey, and now it seems some of that is paying off."
In another bit of karma, 2005-06 was also the last time the Ramblers got to the MJAHL championship series, losing to the Woodstock Slammers. Despite having just two 20-year-olds on the roster heading into Saturday's season opener against the Yarmouth Mariners, and with a goaltending tandem that has yet to prove itself as being consistent, Chipman believes this team can contend.
"This is the toughest team we've had since I've been here," said Chipman. "We will win off intimidation and hard work, and as long as we keep doing that, I think we've got a chance."
Derek Smith, the other 20-year-old on the team, is the only permanent alternate captain. The other alternates will rotate, with Eric Boudreau and Justin Matthews in that role when the Ramblers wear their white jerseys, and Drew McLaughlin and Kody Orr when donning the dark jerseys.
The captain and alternates were chosen by the coaching staff.
"A team vote is essentially a popularity contest, and that's something we don't want," Ramblers head coach and general manager Corey Crocker said. "We wanted the top leaders on this team, and age wasn't a factor in the decision.
"Adam has the best work ethic I've seen since I've been here. His commitment to fitness and his attitude toward the game are exceptional. He will make everyone accountable."
Chipman said it won't be a problem embracing a leadership role.
"We have a great group of guys in our dressing room, and the biggest thing I can do is just to keep everyone motivated and to stay positive," Chipman said. "We all want to win. We wouldn't be here if we didn't."
The Ramblers' biggest strength should be their blueline. Newly acquired Ryan Matheson and Yoann Mathieu have major junior experience, Smith and Boudreau are the veterans, Wes Herrett had a shot as a seventh defencemen with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, and Drew McLaughlin recently returned from the Western Hockey League's Edmonton Oil Kings. Greg Taylor and Brandon Mercer are the newcomers.
Orr, Matthews, Simon Bissonette and Trevor Layton attended Quebec major junior league camps, and will be in the mix for the top two scoring lines with Chipman, Jeremy Barron and Josh Coleman. Scott Bragg and Shane O'Byrne could be used in a shutdown role against other teams' top scoring units, and Jordie Shaw, Kodi Estey and Mitchell O'Neill are the rookie trio. Jonathan Pardy is expected to come off the injured list in late October.
It's been 20 years since the Ramblers won their only MJAHL championship. There are question marks, but if the younger Ramblers can live up to their potential, and if Jon Waye can be the reliable workhorse Andrew Flemming was in goal, this team could make some noise.
"The first couple games will be a feeling-out process," said Crocker. "But teams are so prepared in this league now, you can't take an off night."
If Chipman has his way, that won't happen Saturday.
"We're not going to lose our home opener," he said. "We'd hear about it for the next two months."
The Ramblers play their first road game Sunday in Bridgewater against the Lumberjacks at 7 p,m.

jjewers@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Maritime Junior A Hockey League, Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Annapolis Co. Western Hockey League Edmonton Oil Kings

Geographic location: AMHERST, Quebec, Bridgewater

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  • mike
    January 18, 2010 - 11:00

    great choice for the C the kid will go thru a wall for you. young players should watch him. this is a great role model for the kids. big brother Ryan was a great captain and a better person outside the rink and both come from an amazing family.good luck LITTLE CHIPP

  • Hound
    January 18, 2010 - 10:39

    Funny, I felt the same way about you, when we were teammates, Fully!

  • Hound Line
    January 18, 2010 - 10:33

    Sounds like Chipman must have studied some videos of Fully's own hockey career to have turned out to be the exact same type of player described in the comment above.
    Didn't the Osborne brothers also both wear the 'C' in different seasons for Amherst back in the 90s?