Article from Darrell Cole:
AMHERST – Amherst Ramblers fans are about to have their thirst for hockey quenched.
It has been eight months since the Ramblers played a real game, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down the Maritime Junior Hockey League just before the 2019-20 playoffs.
That changes Thursday when the Ramblers travel to New Glasgow to face the Weeks Crushers to open the new season. The first home game is Saturday against the Truro Bearcats.
Heading into the new season, coach Doug Doull is confident the club is ready to go.
“I look at our group and our one through 20 has a common thread. We’re not a team of superstars, but we have a solid group of character guys back from last year as well as some new faces who bring a lot to the lineup,” Doull said.
The Ramblers lost a number of players to graduation, but have a nucleus of veterans led by forwards Julien Hebert, Jason Gallant, Owen Cole, Mark Richard, Max Boudreau, Aiden MacIntosh, Stephen Fox, and Ben Williams while Alex Wynter, Malcolm Genge, Brock Bartholomew and Matthew Helpard are back on defence and a healthy Tyler Caseley and Josh Ward are back in goal.
“Having Tyler back from his injury is great and Josh has come a long way. We were never settled at any point last season. We went through a tonne of injuries and we were never set in goal,” he said. “To have these two from the start is great.”
Miguel Poirier, who was acquired at the draft in 2019 from Yarmouth but chose to play junior B in New Brunswick, is on the roster this year along with Chase Ellis, picked up from the Crushers, and Liam Smith, acquired over the summer from Fredericton.
Brock Forsythe was picked up from Miramichi earlier this fall while Chris Lewis, who played high school and junior B in Moncton last season, was picked up in the draft.
On defense, newcomers include Nick Yuill, who played for the Ramblers in the Fred Page Cup two seasons ago before going to Ontario last season, and Nick Bourque, who was acquired from Edmundston. There’s also Amherst native Matthew Hunter and Michael Sack, who played sporadically with the team last season.
Doull said size is a strength up front with Poirier at 6’3”, 195 pounds; Ellis at 6’2”, 216 pounds and Smith at 6’3”, 185 pounds.
The Ramblers have released ticket plans. This was done in conjunction with the town, to meet the regulations established by the Nova Scotia Medical Officer of Health, the MHL, and other governing bodies.
A limited number of ticket packages are available at the Ramblers Toonie office (26C Industrial Park Dr.).
Packages, available in groups of two, four or 10, for 20 games are $200 ($10 per game). Contact tracing information will be required and recorded at purchase and seats are not transferable.
There are no individual game tickets.
Doors will be open 30 minutes prior to the opening faceoff, the walking track is off-limits for viewing and team warmups, the lobby is off-limits for watching the game, spectators must stay in their seats during the game and masks must be worn at all times in the arena.
Spectators cannot leave the arena at any time during the game (they will not be allowed to re-enter the building if they leave).