Ramblers season ends
AMHERST – A five-goal third period lifted the Bridgewater Lumberjacks to an 8-3 win over the Ramblers, knocking the home side out of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League postseason last night in front of 453 fans who braved blowing snow and howling wins to get to the Stadium last night.
Bridgewater squandered a 3-1 second-period lead, but a team loaded with overagers maintained its composure and struck twice on the power play and once while shorthanded in the fateful final 20 minutes to sweep the best-of-three first-round series.
"Their older guys really stepped up and played the way they're supposed to play," said Ramblers head coach and general manager Corey Crocker.
"We took the momentum away from them going into the third, but we just couldn't get the job done, and that's the bottom line."
Jeff Marchand, Shawn Frank, Anthony Pisano and Jordan Burke scored in a span of 4:24 in the third to bust the game open, and Jake Lewis added a shorthanded goal with less than four-and-a-half minutes left.
Jon Pardy's weak wrister fooled Bridgewater starter Phillip Wright just 98 seconds after the opening faceoff, but the Lumberjacks took command on goals from Marchand, Sam Labenski and R.D. Chisholm.
Marchand took an undisciplined penalty not long after the Chisholm goal by labelling Kody Orr well away from the puck, and with Scott Bragg in the penalty box for jumping Marchand in coming to Orr's defence, Trevor Layton got some power-play time and blew a wrist shot by Wright at 17:58 to pull the hosts within one.
Jeremy Barron then got a gift goal on a botched clearing attempt by Wright just 21 seconds later and the Ramblers had drawn even.
But the bordertowners couldn't maintain their composure in the third, and were soundly dismissed by a veteran-laiden Bridgewater bunch.
"We battled back, but those first couple goals in the third period just killed us," said forward Peter Baldwin, who played the final game of his junior career last night. "We tried to get back in it, but we were in too deep at that point, I guess."