Jamie Leopold, the general manager of the team, said fans can expect to see some fast, hard-hitting, local hockey once they get started.
“Most of our players are from the Windsor, West Hants area; (they) grew up in the minor hockey system,” Leopold said. “Many are from the Avon View High School hockey team.”
Leopold said 10 to 12 players on the roster are former AVHS hockey players, including their new goaltender, Kyle Pellegrini.
Leopold said they’ll likely have up to 25 players to start, and will cut the roster down from there.
The River Rats made it to the provincial finals last year, losing to the Metro Jaguars in game six.
“Overall we had a real successful season last year and we’re looking to build on that and get back into the finals again,” he said. “I see the River Rats going up against the Spryfield Attack in the provincial championships.”
Leopold said he’s encouraging local hockey fans to come out and support the team.
The River Rats also have a new coaching staff this year, with Mike Lapierre at the helm as head coach and Garby Dauphinee in the assistant coach role.
This year, East Hants will be joining the league with a Junior C Penguins team, while the Metro Jaguars are on hiatus for the year.
The Bedford Wolverines are also expected to be renamed the SEDMHA Jets according to league president Tom Foley.
The first home game is scheduled for Sept. 24 at the Newport and District Rink at 1:30 p.m.
On Sept. 23, they will be headed to the Eastern Shore to take on the Thunder.
When ice returns the Hants Exhibition Arena, the River Rats will be moving their home games there.