St. Stephen Aces Jr. A Hockey Club

Aces gear up for fourth Home Opener at Garcelon Civic Center

Time flies.

It was just over four years ago that the general public got its first look at the brand new Garcelon Civic Center on the bank of the St. Croix River in downtown St. Stephen. What brought them through the doors was the first ever pre-season game for the St. Stephen Aces – an expansion team in the Maritime Hockey League.

That Aces team was so new, so raw that they didn’t even have their uniforms yet. Jerseys, socks, pants and helmets all were still on order. They scrambled to get a set of Saint John Vito’s gear leaving many home fans questioning which team was theirs – the team in Vito’s black and red or the visiting Woodstock Slammers, wearing green and white, familiar to St. Stephen sports fans as similar to their high school Spartans colours.

Curiosity over the new facility and the new brand of hockey – Junior A – attracted a capacity crowd. The atmosphere was electric. Four years later, the Aces are looking to reignite that passion by competing hard and giving faithful fans a reason to cheer.

The Aces fourth season opener takes place this Friday, Sept. 22 at 7pm with the Woodstock Slammers visiting the Garcelon Civic Center. The Aces then host the Edmundston Blizzard on Saturday – also at 7pm. Tickets for all home games are on sale online HERE.

“We have a good team here and we’re working hard every day to build on last year’s success,” said Head Coach and General Manager Phil Richer.

The Aces are off to a slow start, dropping three straight games to open the season – all road games in Nova Scotia and all were the home opener for their respective hosts. Richer isn’t using the gruelling three games in three nights or the season opening road trip as an excuse.

“We have to be better. We have to work harder. We have to be disciplined,” he said. “This is a tough league and every game is a test and a challenge. We didn’t start as strong as we’d like and now we have to get momentum moving the other way, starting Friday night.”

Captain Adam Crowe is in his third season with the team and he said he’s looking forward to getting a push from the home crowd.

“We have a beautiful arena and outstanding community support,” Crowe said. “The crowd noise, seeing our colours in the stands, it all helps give us a little extra energy and I can’t wait to get back on the ice in front of our fans.”