Halifax Oland Exports Junior "A" Team
The Halifax Oland Exports are a charter member of the Maritime Junior "A" Hockey League, which was formed in 1967. Over that 35 year history, the Oland Exports hold the distinction of having the won the MJAHL championship more often than any other team - 9 times. As well, the team holds the MJAHL record for the most appearances in the Royal Bank Cup.
Next May, the Oland Exports will be playing in their 6th National Championship and first as the host team.
The Maritime Junior "A" Hockey League is comprised of 10 teams located across the 3 Maritime provinces and is the only Junior "A" league in Atlantic Canada. Over the Royal Bank Cup's history, only the Summerside Capitals have captured the National Championship with this accomplishment being done in front of their hometown fans in 1997.
No one is more synonymous with the Halifax Oland Exports and the League than Head Coach and team owner Jim Bottomley. "Jimbo", as he is universally known, has coached the team in every one of it's seasons and enjoys a reputation as an outstanding and resourceful recruiter as well as a coach with a passion for winning.
In preparing to host this year's Royal Bank Cup, Coach Bottomley said, "We expect to be competitive on a national level this year. Our visit to Flin Flon last year re-enforced the high regard I have for the level of play and we will bring the best possible players to the Oland Exports in our efforts to win our first-ever Royal Bank Cup. It would be a just and great reward for our loyal fans to win the National Championship on our home ice at The Forum."
Behind the bench, Jim gets tonnes of help. Ron Watkins, who, along with serving as Head Coach for the Halifax McDonalds Midget AAA team for 6 years, also served as the 1998 Team Atlantic U17 Assistant Coach, the 1999 Assistant Coach for Nova Scotia's Canada Games Team, and most recently the Head Coach for the 2001 Team Atlantic U17 World Championship. Also behind the bench with Jim is Brad Crossley, who, along with being a former Oland Export player, has coached the Dartmouth Subways Midget AAA team for the past 10 years, with an amazing 4 trips to the Air Canada Cup!
Ralph Matheson, team General Manager and Vice Chair of the Royal Bank Cup Host Committee said, "We are working hard to make the 2002 Royal Bank Cup the best in it's 31 year history. We know all the players and visiting fans will enjoy our city, our culture and our history."
The Chair of the 2002 Host Committee, Chris Larsen has put together a team of 21 sub-committee's to ensure the Championship's success. Larsen said, "We are working very hard to put all the organizational pieces in place for next May when Halifax will be the largest city to host this Championship in the last 11 years. We plan to make the Royal Bank Cup more than just a hockey tournament and provide local and national fans an opportunity to experience our great "Down East" hospitality and our outstanding city."
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Ryan Robins Manager, Marketing Services