A change of logo, team colours, or even location does not matter in the grand scheme of things for the former Bay Ducks team, what matters is sticking together.
That’s what Cody Slaght, a player on the newly purchased Liverpool Privateers Junior B team, says.
On Aug. 19 a press conference held at Queens Place Emera Centre shed more light on the new team coming to Queens.
The Bay Ducks, a Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League team, were based out of St. Margaret’s Bay and were struggling to fill seats and get sponsors for their team. That struggle brought the team together and made them fight for it.
“We’ve all grown closer together through off ice functions and fundraising for our team that was battling to stay,” says Slaght. “It was tough but it brought us together.”
Most of the players attend Dalhousie University together. If the team had shuttered the players would have been sent off to play for different teams across the province.
“We basically became brothers,” says Slaght.
The team was purchased by Jim Bottomley, the general manager and head coach of the Yarmouth Mariners, a Junior A team.
Bottomley says it was the enthusiasm of the Region of Queens that made him decide to place the team in Queens.
“The passion that they showed at the meetings we had, the excitement, the lack of good hockey down here,” says Bottomley when asked what the key reasons for choosing Queens were.
Bottomley also says he believes Queens Place Emera Centre is the best facility in the Junior B league now.
“You couldn’t go wrong by coming here,” says Bottomley.
He was also very happy to see a crowd of nearly 60 people at the press conference including sponsors for the new team.
New team colours and a logo were revealed at the press conference. The logo features a swashbuckling privateer with a sword, though Bottomley says that may change to a hockey stick. The colour scheme is gold and black.
“We all have a little pirate in us, or privateer more appropriately,” laughs Mayor Chris Clarke at the press conference.
Dave Bennett, the general manager of the Liverpool Privateers says the first game, slated for Sept. 20, should be a very entertaining game.
“It’ll be a real good hockey game because Glace Bay’s got a real good hockey team,” says Bennett. “For September I think you’ll see a real good hockey game because you’ll have a couple of the top teams in the league.”
Bennett and Slaght say the season should be very competitive. The team is aiming to be the top in the 2014 – 2015 season.
“Chemistry is big in this group, they like each other, they like playing together,” says Bennett.
The team will practice out of Tantallon, as most of the players live in the Halifax region, once a week and play all home games out of Queens Place Emera Centre, mostly on Saturday nights.
Click here to watch Slaght and Bennett at the press event.