Ramblers play Tigers, Commandos this weekend

Dave Mathieson
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Amherst Ramblers forwards Serge Boisvert (left) and Daniel Walsh try to stuff the puck past Tigers goaltender Ian Delange Saturday night at Amherst Stadium. The play each other again tonight. 

AMHERST - After beating the Campbellton Tigers 6-1 Saturday in Amherst, the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers will have a rematch with them tonight in Campbellton, and then host the Dieppe Commandos Saturday night at Amherst Stadium.

"They beat Truro (Bearcats) in Campbellton a couple of weeks ago. They were down 4-0 and came back and beat them 6-5, so they're capable of playing tough hockey," said Tim Ripley, Ramblers assistant coach. "We going up there knowing it won't be easy, especially on the road. There are no easy games in our league. You can't take anybody lightly."

The trip to Campbellton takes five hours.

"We'll stop in Miramichi for lunch, so it breaks the trip up," said Ripley. "It's a 7:30 p.m. game, and we'll be in town by 5:30 p.m., so that will give them plenty of time to get ready. It shouldn't be an issue at this time of year."

The Ramblers are working on their goals against.

"We have a pretty good chance of winning a game if we can keep the shots below 30, and keep the goals-against three or under," said Ripley. "We're working on our defensive play away from the puck. It's understanding your job defensively.”

The Commandos are in Amherst on Saturday at 7 p.m.

"The Commandos have got off to a good start," said Ripley. "They're a good skating club and they're a club you have to take seriously."

Home ice advantage plays a role when hosting the Commandos, and it works in the opposite direction as well.

"When they come here they're coming off an Olympic sized ice surface and coming to a smaller rink, so it is an adjustment when you're going to different ice surface sizes."

Ripley says the Ramblers organization is pleased with the line of Brett Shute, Brock Morrison and Ryan Caswell and is looking for leadership from them.

“They’ve been on fire here lately and they’ve been doing a great job offensively, and they’ve taken their defensively serious as well, so we’re anticipating a solid effort out of them again,” said Ripley. “That line’s been in the league for a number of years. This is Shute’s fifth year, Morrison’s fourth year and it’s Caswell’s second year. They have good speed and good size.”

He also says John Deacon, Nick Cass and Zack MacEwan have been great assets so far this season.

MacEwan is a 17-year-old and he’s almost on a goal a game for the last three or four games. He has nice skills, and he’s a big rangy kid that loves to play,” said Ripley. “Cass and Deacon are 18-year-olds and they’re adding a lot to the hockey club. They’re very skilled and have good speed. The coaching staff is really pleased with their progress.”


The puck for Saturday's game drops at 7 p.m.



Organizations: Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers, Ramblers organization

Geographic location: Amherst Stadium, Campbellton, Miramichi

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