AMHERST – Wilie MacDonald scored the winner with 3:42 to play as the Amherst Ramblers opened up their exhibition season with a 4-3 win over the Dieppe Commandos in Maritime Junior Hockey League action at the Amherst Stadium on Saturday.
Jesse McInnis and Ryan Dunleavy added assists on the goal that came five minutes after Riley Thompson's high shot beat Ramblers' goalie Chase Marchand over the shoulder to tie the game at 3-3.
"I thought the guys played well. They skated very well and had some great opportunities," Ramblers' coach Jim Bottomley said. "I thought they moved the puck well and finished their checks. It was pretty good for their first game."
Alex Bradley of the Commandos scored the lone goal of the first period when he beat Marc Theriault, who got the start in goal for Amherst.
Amherst finally got on the board 3:20 into the second period when Ben Berisha, acquired from Summerside in the Mitch Maynard deal, deflected a Dylan Brake shot by Vincent Charest with Willie MacDonald adding an assist.
The Ramblers went up 2-1 jsut 43 seconds into the second when Brock Morrison, the other player acquired from Summerside, scored with Berisha and Maxime Richard adding assists.
After Remi Blois tied it up seven minutes later, McInnis scored at 8:07 from Yan Legace and Dunleavy.
Amherst outshot the Commandos 50-38.
"The guys are battling for positions and hopefully it's a good sign of what's to come," Bottomley said. "I thought Berisha played well, Brock Morrison played well and carried the puck well. I thought that whole line with Richard played well."
Bottomley said he was pleased with the physical play of defenceman Kyle Beckwith while Josh Pugsley had several scoring chances.
The two teams play Sunday at 2 p.m. in Dieppe.