AMHERST – It’s been a quarter century since the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers have hosted a tournament this big.
The Ramblers learned Thursday they were the successful bidder for the 2019 Fred Page Cup, which is the eastern Canadian Junior A hockey championship that qualifies a team for the RBC Cup.
“We’re very pleased with this news. The presentation was a joint effort between the team and the town and we had a first-class presentation,” Ramblers president Andrew Reid said early Thursday.
The Ramblers made their official bid presentation during the Maritime Junior Hockey League Showcase in Summerside on Tuesday afternoon with the Valley Wildcats being the only other bidder.
Amherst hosted the precursor of the RBC Cup in 1993, the Centennial Cup with the Ramblers losing in overtime to Chateauguay, Que. in the tournament semifinal with the Vernon Vipers going on to win it all in the final.
The Amherst host committee will be led by recreation director Bill Schurman, who led numerous national and world championships in both hockey and baseball while he was in Summerside, P.E.I. and led the Moncton Wildcats through the Memorial Cup several years ago.
Schurman led the presentation in Summerside and was joined by Corey Crocker and Tamara Porter from the town’s rec department as well as Reid, vice-president Gary Brown and Kim Campbell from the Ramblers.
It’s the third time Amherst has bid for the Fred Page Cup, losing out to Truro in 2013 and Woodstock in 2016. Reid said the team “really went for it” this time and is in a much better position to host the tournament this time. He feels it’s Amherst’s turn to host the event in early May 2019.
He said the team has great support from the town and the Municipality of Cumberland as well as local provincial representatives.
“It’s been a long wait for us and I think we really deserved it this time. Valley had a great presentation as well and I think they’ll be in good shape next time the tournament comes east in 2022,” Reid said. “This is a huge opportunity for the team and the community. It’s our chance to show what we’re capable of here.”
Now that the team has tournament, Reid said, there’s lots of work to be done over the next 18 months to get ready.