Scott McManaman knows what the members of the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers are experiencing as they prepare for the Fred Page Cup.
The 31-year-old Amherst native, who now manages a pair of nursing homes near Portland, Maine, was a member of the Pictou Count Weeks Crushers that won the Fred Page Cup on home ice in 2008 after being eliminated in the second round of the Maritime Junior Hockey League playoffs and dropping the opening game of the eastern Canadian tournament by a lopsided score.
“We were a lot like Amherst. We beat Truro in the first round but lost to Yarmouth in the second round. We had to wait for three weeks and it was probably the hardest three weeks because we were on the ice every day,” McManaman said.
The Crushers started off the Fred Page Cup with a lopsided loss to the Pembroke Lumber Kings. After that, they defeated Quebec and Yarmouth to conclude the round robin before beating the Mariners again in the semifinal.
In the final, the Crushers defeated Pembroke to earn the right to attend the national championship tournament in Cornwall, Ont., losing in the semifinal to a Camrose, Alta. lineup that featured several future NHLers include Joe Colborne, who would go on to play for Toronto, Calgary and Colorado.
He still remembers winning on home ice.
“To win that final game in front of the home crowd was something else. It’s something I’ll never forget,” said McManaman, who is the only Amherst native to win a Fred Page Cup.
While he’s been in Maine for a decade, he admitted he still follows his hometown Ramblers and is confident they can win.
“From what I’ve seen of them I think they have a pretty good team,” he said. “They have lots of offence and hopefully Amherst fans will pack the building and support them. The big thing is they have to focus on winning that first game on opening night. Winning that first game puts you in good shape for the rest of the week.”
McManaman had 43 goals in two seasons for the Ramblers after being selected as the club’s territorial pick in the 2005 draft. He was dealt to the Crushers prior to the 2007-08 season and had 22 goals and 31 assists in his final junior season before playing three years at the University of New England.