AMHERST, N.S. – The 2019 Fred Page Cup may be five months out, but organizers are not procrastinating.
With the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers midway through their 2018-19 Maritime Junior Hockey League season, preparations for the eastern Canadian Junior A hockey championship are in full swing.
The tournament runs from May 1 to 5 and includes eight games.
“The management committee for the tournament is meeting regularly and at this point I have say we are very pleased with how things are going,“ host committee chair Bill Schurman told the Amherst News. “From a logistics perspective, we have the hotels booked, the awards dinner location booked, tickets are printed and now for sale through the Ramblers office and we’re in the midst of volunteer recruitment.”
Schurman said excitement is beginning to build in the community. A recent information meeting for interested volunteers brought out more than 60 people on top of several dozen who have already committed to helping.
Anyone interested in volunteering can talk to volunteer coordinator Sheila Christie or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Close to $250,000 in improvements to the stadium were completed during the summer and early fall, while Eastlink has committed to broadcasting all eight tournament games.
The host committee recently made a presentation to the MHL board of governors to reinforce its plan to honour one builder from each of the league’s teams at the five-day tournament that will send a team to the RBC national Junior A championship.
Gardiner MacDougall of the University of New Brunswick, the winningest coach in AUS hockey history, has committed to be guest speaker and will speak about pursuing through hockey, and Schurman said the organization has achieved approximately 50 per cent of the corporate support it’s seeking.
As well, approximately 30 per cent of the tournament ticket packages have been sold. They are $69 each and can be purchased at the Ramblers office on Industrial Park Drive.
Schurman said work is continuing on acquiring space for coaches in the form of mobiles that will be located adjacent to the stadium to give the coaches some privacy.
The host chairman is also confident the Ramblers will be in the hunt for the MHL title and will be a strong host.
“The team is looking good and playing well. They’ve had some injuries and are battling through that,” Schurman said. “They’re in the top three in the league and we’re expecting a good run.”
The final countdown to the Fred Page Cup will begin during the Family First New Year’s Eve celebration on Dec. 31.