VIDEO: Windsor Aces Tier II Junior A Hockey Ready To Hit The Ice
The Windsor Aces are ready to hit the ice at Adie Knox Herman Arena.
Windsor's newest hockey team will be joining the South Division of the Greater Metro Hockey League this fall. The 24 team tier II Junior A league began play in fall of the year 2006 with only seven teams.
Owner and Head Coach Joe Byrne says bringing a team of his own to the area has always been his dream.
"We used to go watch the [Windsor] Spitfires play, never got a chance to play for them, I played in Plymouth but I've always been a fan," he says. "I wanted to have something here in town. We used to come watch the [University of Windsor] Lancers here when I was growing up. It just means a lot to start making an impact and giving back."
Uniforms to be worn by the Windsor Aces Tier II Junior A Hockey team for the 2017 season in the Greater Metro Hockey League. (Photo by AM800's Gord Bacon)
The league has teams throughout the province, but a large concentration are in the Greater Toronto area — Windsor will join the Kingsville Kings as the only teams in Windsor-Essex.
Byrne, a former Major A player with the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL, says the league is primarily geared towards player development.
"Here it's not so much players are looking at Junior C as a second option, they don't really know a lot about the league," says Byrne. "The model of the league is truly meant to be a development league, for players to move on. They're not trying to hold onto hang onto guys for five or six years."
He told AM800 News he's assemble a team through contacts he's built up over his career — the team will have a core of local players if all goes as planned.
"We've got players from all over. At one time or another we've crossed paths, and I felt that was the best way to start things, go with what you know," he says. "Basically that's what I kind of did, I started leaning on guys that I've coached, that I know there families, or players that come with a high recommend."
The puck drops for opening night on Saturday Sept. 9 at 7:30pm.
Byrne says the Aces will play 21 home games at Adie Knox Arena as part of a 42 game schedule.
Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and $3 for kids.