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Valley Maple Leafs training camp fast approaching; home opener in Newport

Tyler Young, who was a leading goal scorer for the Valley Maple Leafs in 2016-17, has signed on to help coach this year.
Tyler Young, who was a leading goal scorer for the Valley Maple Leafs in 2016-17, has signed on to help coach this year.

WINDSOR, N.S. — The Valley Maple Leafs coaching staff and executive are excited to announce that they'll be able to take the ice earlier than normal this year.

The Leafs will be hosting their home opener in Brooklyn this September at the Newport and District Rink.

“We want to let the people of Newport know that we will be playing some games out there and we will be playing, guaranteed for sure, Sept. 17 at 5 p.m.,” said general manager David Hunter.

The team will officially start the 2017-18 NSJHL season on the road in Antigonish on Sept. 15.

Head coach Brett Fletcher said he's happy to be able to play on home ice earlier than normal and he hopes fans will be too.

“It will be a little bit different as far as fans not being used to going out to Brooklyn, but I think there's a great following in the area that may enjoy watching a game from there,” said Fletcher.

Brett Fletcher is taking over the head coaching duties for the Valley Maple Leafs for the 2017-18 season.

“There shouldn't be any fog and we should be in a situation where if older folks want to come, there is a warm room, there's (an) elevator,” he continued. “It's a nice facility and it will be nice to play out there and kind of get a taste of playing at home earlier than mid to late October, which is usually what happens with our club.”

The majority of home games will still be held at the Hants Exhibition Arena in Windsor.

Leading up to the home opener, the Leafs will be looking to ice a competitive team. Tryouts are Sept. 5 and Sept. 7 at the Kings Mutual Centre in Berwick at 9 p.m. The cost to try out is $50 per skater and that includes entry into a pre-season exhibition tournament.

The Leafs will be participating in three pre-season exhibition games in East Hants. They play Sept. 8 at 6 p.m., Sept. 9 at 9 a.m. and again at 2 p.m.

Fletcher said many of last year's players have expressed an interest in playing for the Leafs again, and he's looking forward to seeing what talent is out there.

Fletcher said one exciting thing he can announce is that Tyler Young, the 2016-17 team captain, will be returning to help with team development. The student athlete is ineligible to play in the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League due to his age so he will be an assistant coach.

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