AMHERST, N.S. – A Cumberland County minor hockey team is about to get a national audience.
The Cumberland County Scotiabank Peewee AAA Ramblers will give the greeting prior to CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast on Saturday, Dec. 1 just before 8 p.m. when the Toronto Maple Leafs play the Minnesota Wild or the New York Rangers play the Montreal Canadiens.
Mike Stack, who is an assistant coach with the team, said the news came as a huge surprise. The team had met with the Amherst branch of the Scotiabank earlier this year about a team sponsorship.
“It’s definitely not something we were expecting and we were more than a little surprised when we learned that we’d been selected,” Stack said. “We’re not sure how we were picked, but we’re so appreciative.”
With the sponsorship, the team was entered into the process that sees hockey teams of all ages across the country get to do the intro to the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast either prior to the primetime game at 8 p.m. or the nightcap at 11.
A film crew from Rogers, the company that has the broadcast rights to the NHL in Canada, was in Amherst a couple of weeks ago to produce the segment that featured the team with several of the players getting to speak lines about that evening’s games and to send the coverage back to hosts Ron MacLean and Don Cherry.
“That’s the line everyone wanted, to send it back to Hockey Night and Canada with Ron and Don,” Stack said.
To decide who got to speak the team asked who wanted to appear before the camera and held a draw to see who would do the various segments. He believes there are six or seven speaking parts.
Stack said support from the Amherst branch has been “unbelieveable” with Joanne Gibson, Matt Ellis and branch manager Rachel Ladd coming out to the rink the night of the filming and breaking a cake with them along with gifts for the players including pucks, toques and small backpacks.
“I have to applaud them for their support,” Stack said. “They really went above and beyond for the boys and the smiles on the boys faces that night speaks volumes. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Stack expects the team will gather somewhere the night of the broadcast to watch their few minutes of fame and he said a video of their appearance will also be provided later.