Josh Pugsley is not returning to the Moncton Wildcats. The Amherst resident will play for the hometown CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers this season.
AMHERST – As the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers prepare to make their case for hosting next season’s Fred Page Cup, the club has received a boost with the return of forward and former Moncton Wildcat Josh Pugsley.
“I’m happy to be playing in Amherst this year. I just wasn’t motivated to go back to Moncton this year or play in the Q. I want to stay at home this year and focus on school and play with the Ramblers,” said Pugsley.
Pugsley had six goals and nine assists for 15 points in 63 games for the Wildcats last season after scoring six goals and adding 23 assists for 29 points in his rookie season with the Ramblers in 2012-13.
The 18-year-old centreman hopes to play a leadership role with what should be a younger Rambler club this season and he is hopeful the team is successful in its Fred Page Cup bid.
“I spoke to Josh (Hepditch) yesterday and I said I want to play a leadership role with the club and help the younger players,” Pugsley said.
Hepditch said he’s thrilled to have a player of Pugsley’s calibre return to the club.
“He’s a player with major junior experience and he’s going to help this hockey club,” said Hepditch, who has been at the Wildcats’ camp scouting players. “He’ll play a major role in our lineup for several years to come and he’s another piece of the puzzle of what we’re trying to build here.”
Hepditch said he expects up to 40 players in camp when the Ramblers training camp opens Aug. 23 at the Amherst Stadium. Among them will be local players goalie Evan MacKenzie and forward Dougie Barton of Springhill, while he also hopes Kyle Beckwith and Serge Boisvert will be in camp as well.
“It’s an exciting time of year because a lot of players are at major junior camps and while you don’t want to wish anyone to get let go by a higher team it’s always exciting when you learn someone you want is going to be available,” Hepditch said.
He is also hoping that up to six players from western Canada – possibly three with experience in the Western Hockey League – will also arrive in camp. He said it may not happen at the opening of camp since WHL training camps don’t start until next week.
Saturday will be a big day for the Ramblers as they conduct their bid to the Maritime Junior Hockey League for the 2016 Fred Page Cup.
Both the Summerside Western Capitals and the Woodstock Slammers are also bidding for the tournament.
“I feel confident going in,” Ramblers’ president Jim Henwood said. “We came so close last time and have worked very hard to prepare a bid this time. Both Amherst Mayor Robert Small and Cumberland County Warden Keith Hunter are going to speak on our behalf and both municipalities have committed financially to hosting the event in Amherst and Cumberland County.”
Henwood said the Ramblers are the oldest team in the MHL and have never hosted the Fred Page Cup before. He hopes those factors work in the team’s favour.
A decision won’t be made on the successful bidder until September.
“There are two other quality organizations putting bids in for this event. Summerside hosted the RBC in 2013 and Woodstock is putting a lot of money into fixing up their arena, but I still believe it’s our turn to host this tournament because of our history in the league,” Henwood said.
The Ramblers are also announcing season ticket prices and ticket packages that are much more family friendly than previous seasons.
Along with full season passes, the team is introducing flex passes for 12 games and six-pack flex passes. Henwood said the team is also offering a family season ticket that covers two adults and two children for $450 (a saving of $300), while the six-game packs will be savings in that buyers get six game tickets for the price of five.
The Ramblers are hosting a pair of meet the coach days on Aug. 22 at Maltby’s Once Again Sports and Aug. 29 at Sobeys from 2 to 5 p.m. both days.
The team is also continuing to look for billet families for the upcoming season.
For further information on season tickets or billet information call 664-8032 or 667-7154 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .