Junior ‘C’ hockey fans in Digby will be look at new colours and some new faces when the season opens in Digby Oct. 4.
The Valley Keith’s, who were purchased by a Digby group last year, have picked up a new main sponsor, and will now be known as the Valley Scallop Shell Fuelers.
The name change has not received league approval, but it is expected at a league meeting tomorrow, Sept. 19, in Stewiacke, said team general manager Danny Harvieux.
The new Fuelers jersey will be in the same red and white colours as the Detroit Red Wings, he added.
The Digby team isn’t the only one undergoing a name change. The Harbour Crunch, which plays out of Musquodoboit Harbour, is now known as the Eastern Shore Jr. Mariners.
There is also an addition to the league’s Central division with the rejoining on an Oxford-based team, the North Shore Storm.
Training camp for the Digby team opened Sept. 15 in Kingston, with two more camps this Sunday and Tuesday.
A fourth and final training camp will be held Oct. 1 in Digby, with the home opener against Clare Lions on Oct. 4. “Some players are back from last year,” Harvieux said, “and we’ve signed two big new defensemen.”
Among those returning from the 2008-09 squad are goalie Chris Hersey, forwards Eric Cook and Colan Cromwell, and defenseman Andrew Verran. The team has lost forward Eric Banks from Nictaux, and may lose Digby player Tyler Robertson.
Harvieux said the team is looking for more Digby area players, but “they have to try out.”
While there is no high school team to develop teenage players, there is a growing minor hockey system. Minor hockey players can look forward to the second annual hockey school run by coaching staff of the Junior ‘C’ team, which will be held Oct. 2-4 in the Digby Area Rink.
The school is open to any level player, male or female, said Harvieux, and will be led by team coach Geoff Locke.
Clare Lions, the dominant Digby County team in recent years, opens the new season Oct. 3 in Barrington against the Ice Dogs. Gone from the Lions this season will be last year's team captain, Ryan Gallant.