When Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers coach and GM Jeff LeBlanc was preparing his roster for the upcoming season last summer, he knew he needed a proven goaltender to lead his club on the road to May’s Fred Page Cup.
Matt Williams was stellar after being acquired in an August trade with the Summerside Western Capitals collecting 24 wins and four shutouts while finishing the regular season with 2.51 goals against average. For that he was presented the club’s Vern Hurley Memorial Trophy as most valuable player during the team's awards banquet on March 11.
It was also a big night for veteran forward and Sackville, N.B. native Will Lafford, who picked up four awards, including the Ambassador Volunteerism Award for community service, the Jeff and Wayne Myatt Memorial Trophy, the Academic Proficiency, Leadership Potential and Hockey Ability Award and the Henry Treadwell Memorial Fan’s Choice Award.
Lafford, who won a league championship three seasons ago with the former Dieppe Commandos, scored 14 goals and added 16 assists for 30 points in his final season after being picked up in the summer of 2017 when the Commandos moved to Edmundston.
Sharlene Carter-Earle was recognized with the Ron Rayworth Memorial Trophy as Volunteer of the Year while Jacob Myra, who had five goals and 12 assists for 17 points in his second season with the club, won the Billet of the Year Award and the Ron MacLeod Memorial True Grit Award.
Hunter McIntyre, who had seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points after being acquired from Summerside last summer, made the transition from forward to defence early in the season and was presented the Captain’s Choice Award and the Shermie White Memorial Trophy for Playing Ability and Clean Play.
The Lorne Briggs Memorial Top Defenceman Trophy was presented to veteran rearguard Dawson Grenier. Grenier had seven goals and 19 assists for 26 points before a late season injury forced him to the sidelines.
Stephen Fox, acquired during training camp from the South Shore Lumberjacks and a former member of the Telus Cup-winning Cape Breton West Major Midgets, had 12 goals and 17 assists for 29 points and was named the winner of the Carmen Porter Memorial as Rookie of the Year.
Cole Waugh, in his second full season with the club (he joined the team for the playoffs two seasons ago), had 22 goals and 26 assists for 48 points and was presented the Maurice Bent Memorial Most Improved Player Award.
The Walter Maltby Memorial Trophy as top scorer went to veteran centerman Caleb Rich, who had 22 goals and 32 assists for 54 points, edging teammate Casey Fox by just one pont.
The club also honoured graduating players Hunter McIntyre, Matt Williams, Dawson Grenier, Matt Green, Will Lafford, Nick Snow and Casey Fox.