ARNPRIOR – The West Carleton Rivermen are making last season’s move to Arnprior permanent.
And that change will be reflected in the team’s moniker, now known as the Arnprior Rivermen.
The team is owned by Galetta’s Adrian Moyes and featured several players from the West Carleton area in its two seasons of play, spread over three years due to COVID-19 cancelling the season in 2020-2021.
The Rivermen were one of four teams to join the fledgling Eastern Ontario Super Hockey League (EOSHL) in 2019-2020 – a senior A hockey league filled with former junior A, university and college, and semi-pro players.
Moyes, who grew up in Constance Bay, is a former Arnprior Packer who played professional hockey in Germany in the Oberliga for a few seasons.
In the first season the Rivermen made it to the EOSHL finals coming up just short against the Cornwall Prowlers.
The following season was wiped out by COVID, but in 2021-2022 the league returned adding eight more teams on both sides of the Ottawa River to form a two-division 12-team league.
Meanwhile, the Rivermen moved their home arena from Kinburn to Arnprior for the start of last season.
“We’re excited about the move,” Moyes told West Carleton Online last summer (Aug. 18, 2021). “The location is definitely better, especially from a fan perspective.”
Moyes said the move was necessitated out of a lack of availability at the Kinburn Sensplex.
The Silver Seven Hockey Club has rented a lot of the available ice time at the rink for their A and AA program for 10 to 16-year-olds. Nine city rinks were closed for use as vaccination sites at the time.
“So, ice in the city is really sparse,” Moyes said.
The canteen at the Kinburn rink no longer has a tenant either, meaning there would be no concessions to serve the fans. During the 2020 playoff run, the Rivermen attracted what looked like more than 200 fans for several of their playoff games.
Moyes eventually was able to negotiate a deal with the Town of Arnprior.
“A big thank you for the Town of Arnprior for working so hard to welcome the Rivermen,” Moyes said.
A big advantage of the Bert Hall Arena it is smack dab in the middle of a town with a population of around 10,000 people that shares its border with West Carleton.
“We think we’ll get more foot traffic for sure,” Moyes said.
Attendance was up and down throughout the season last year, despite another successful product. The Rivermen finished third in the EOSHL West Division, won their first round of the playoffs, upsetting the Tweed Oil Kings in round one, before losing out in the West Division finals to the Ganonque Islanders. Crowds noticeably improved throughout the playoffs, but did not attract the 500 to 700 paying fans some other EOSHL teams were drawing.
But it was good enough for Rivermen management to make the move to Arnprior permanent.
On Saturday (May 14), the Rivermen officially renamed their club.
“We have some huge and exciting news,” Rivermen management released in a statement. “As of today (May 14) we will be relocating to Arnprior permanently. We are very excited to become an official part of Arnprior hockey history. We can’t wait to see you in the fall Arnprior.”
For West Carleton Online’s complete Rivermen coverage since the team’s inception, click here.