BRIDGEWATER – The Ramblers are in another must-win situation after losing 5-2 to the host Lumberjacks last night to begin their best-of-three first-round Maritime Junior A Hockey League playoff series.
Amherst, which needed a win over Truro coupled with a Halifax victory over Yarmouth to snatch the final postseason spot in the Bent Division last Saturday, will once again be staring at the end of its season when the teams meet for Game 2 on Thursday at the Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
“We didn’t win enough faceoffs tonight, and as a result we were chasing the puck most of the night,” said Ramblers head coach and general manager Corey Crocker. “That’s something we’ll have to address going forward. And give credit to them, they were at their best tonight and for some reason, we weren’t.”
Brandon Street had a goal and an assist for the visitors, who trailed 2-1 after the first period and 4-2 through 40 minutes, and was named the game’s third star. Drew McLaughlin had the other Amherst goal.
Jon Waye made 32 saves in defeat. The Ramblers sent 33 shots at Philip Wright in the Bridgewater goal.
Shawn Frank was in on every goal for the hosts, scoring once and adding four assists. Mickey MacDonald picked up a goal and three assists.
Game 3, if necessary, goes Friday in Bridgewater. The series winner gets the Truro Bearcats in the best-of-seven Bent Division semifinals.
“It’s do or die for us,” said Crocker. “It’s no different than Saturday was. Our kids know what’s at stake and you can’t get up for this game, you should quit. We responded well the last time and we’ll be ready for Thursday.”