Chatham Maroons Happy With Camp, Sign Three

The Chatham Maroons finished their spring camp Thursday night with four teams of prospects facing off, vying for attention from the Junior B team’s coaching staff, and for a spot at main camp this summer.

“Camp went very well, I was really happy with the pace,” Maroons head coach Ron Horvat said about the two day camp. “The guys were all committed to working hard out there and showing their stuff. Very impressed with a lot of young local talent.”

Chatham also signed three players, Dane Johnstone, who spent last season with the St. Thomas Stars and in the OHL; Grant Spence, an OHL pick who helped the Windsor Jr. Spitfires to an Alliance Major Midget title; and Eric Carter, who was a rookie with the Dresden Jr. Kings last season.

The camp was comprised heavily of players from local Junior C teams, ‘AAA’ players, and minor hockey players from across Chatham-Kent. For Horvat, who has spent most of the past several seasons coaching Junior hockey and ‘AAA’ in Elgin-Middlesex.

“That was new for me being in this area, coming down this way, I was very impressed with some of the 15-, 16-, 17-year-old kids from the County. They played very well.”

A few veteran Maroons were on the ice for the camp, but the vast majority of players were rookies, trying to impress Horvat and his staff, who hope to announce signings and commitments soon.

“There is going to be some decisions, as early as tonight, or this week. Some signings hopefully. We’ll be bringing 40 players to main camp including our veterans. But there will be kids coming out of here to play against the big boys later this summer.”

Horvat joined the Chatham Maroons midseason after the team relieved former coach Brian Verbeek of his position. This was Horvat’s first camp with the Maroons, who finished second in the GOJHL’s Western Conference with a 37-12-0-1 record, before being eliminated by the London Nationals in round two of the playoffs.

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