Smith named alternate captain for MJAHL all-stars

Jody Jewers
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AMHERST - Ramblers defenceman Derek Smith is getting used to wearing an A on his sweater.
The Amherst alternate captain will assume the same role when the Maritime Junior A Hockey League all-stars play two exhibition games this week against teams entered in the World Junior A Hockey Challenge tournament next week in Summerside.
The MJAHL squad, which also includes Smith's defence partner Eric Boudreau and Ramblers forward Justin Matthews, as well as head coach and general manager Corey Crocker behind the bench as an assistant, takes on Canada East today in Truro at 7:30 p.m., and faces Belarus at the Stadium tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.
"It means a lot," said Smith. "I was pretty excited just to play in these games, and to wear the A is just an added bonus."
Chris Owens of the Miramichi Timberwolves will serve as captain. Brad Tesink of the Woodstock Slammers and Dana Fraser of the Truro Bearcats are the other alternates.
The Maritime league might have something to prove against Canada East. Just one MJAHL player - forward Sean Hoyt of the Pictou County Weeks Crushers - was named to the 22-man squad. The only other player not from Ontario on the team is defenceman Sacha Gulmond of Ville Marie, Que., who plays for the North Bay Trappers of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League.
"It's pretty hard to pick the team with all the other leagues around," said Smith. "I really don't think there's that much difference between our league and any other one in Canada."
The Ramblers contingent also has to worry about playing the night after the two-game series concludes, with Miramichi in town on Halloween for an 8 p.m., start.
"We're going to try and win both games," said Smith. "You can't be worried about getting hurt out there.
"We've played three games in three nights a bunch of times, plus we're not travelling too far, so it's not that big a deal."

Organizations: Maritime Junior A Hockey League, Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League

Geographic location: Canada East, Summerside, Truro Belarus Pictou County Ontario North Bay

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