© Jamie Heap-Cumberlandnewsnow.com
The Amherst Colts celebrate a goal in November 2013. They typically play their home games 4:00 pm Sunday afternoons at Amherst Stadium.
There is no lack of good junior hockey being played these days in Cumberland County. Take the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers for example. Slow start aside, the Ramblers have played consistently good hockey in the tough Eastlink division of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League (MHL). Strong goaltending, a solid power play and a league tying best penalty kill have kept the Ramblers in the thick of things. Despite their best efforts, they find themselves in fourth place behind the nearly unbeatable Pictou Weeks Crushers, Truro Bearcats and Yarmouth Jr. A Mariners. While catching the Crushers at this stage of the season may prove difficult, catching and passing the other two teams is very possible, making for an exciting couple months of hockey prior to the MHL playoffs.
As for the Cumberland County Cool Blues, a Junior B hockey club that typically plays its Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League, Sid Rowe division home games most Friday evenings at the Richard Calder Arena in Springhill, its dedicated fan base is thrilled with how their team ended last year and started this year: the Cumberland County Cool Blues defeated Brookfield at home prior to the Christmas break before defeating the Antigonish Bulldogs on the road this past Sunday.
Last, but certainly not least, are the Amherst Junior C Colts, a Nova Scotia Junior C Hockey League (NSJRCHL) team that once called Oxford, Nova Scotia home. While they may not draw nearly as many fans Sunday afternoons as the Ramblers do on Saturday nights at Amherst Stadium, they deserve more than a second glance. Entering play this week, the Colts found themselves in second place in the NSJRCHL, a mere three points behind the Spryfield Silver and Black Attack.
If the Colts have one weakness, it may be an overabundance of individual talent. If Colts’ players are able to put their egos aside, a NSJRCHL championship may very well be in the cards for them. Most times, however, it is the players with the best team, as opposed to the team with the best players, that win championships.