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After more than a year and a half absence, Junior B hockey players will once again be lacing up their skates at the Hants Exhibition Arena.
The Valley Maple Leafs, a second-year expansion team within the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League, will be in town this weekend for their first game since they were formed in the summer of 2012.
The Leafs will be taking on the Pictou County Scotians Oct. 18 at 7:45 p.m.
It's the first time fans have had the opportunity to see this calibre of hockey played locally since the Windsor Royals were disbanded early in 2012.
On the Leafs' Facebook fan page, it's noted that they will be bringing “Jr. B hockey back to its rightful home” at the Hants Exhibition Arena.
“Almost 50 years with it, one season without, let's see how much community spirit and support we can get for this tradition. Don't let Sam Slick or whatever the other name for our town festival happen to Jr. B hockey again. Come out and support your VML and let us start another 45-plus year tradition in our great community,” the site reads.
In their inaugural season, the Leafs played out of three Valley rinks. This year, they will mainly be based in Windsor, with some home games being played in Berwick.
Following their Hants County debut, the Leafs will spend the next two games on the road – Oct. 19 at the Eastern Shore Community centre, and Oct. 25 at the East Hants Sportsplex. They will then host the Port Hawkesbury Strait Pirates at the Kings Mutual Century Centre in Berwick Oct. 26 at 8:30 p.m., before returning to Windsor Nov. 1 for a 7:45 p.m. battle with the Antigonish Bulldogs.