AMHERST – Down by a score of 1-0, the Amherst Ramblers Maritime Hockey League pre-season came to a screeching halt Sunday night after the referee stopped their game against the Truro Bearcats at 11:06 into the second period.
“The referee came to me at the end of the first (period) and told me they wanted to cancel the game because of the fog. I said no, no, we’re here to play,” said Jim Bottomley, Ramblers coach and general manager. “In the middle of the (second) period we had a shot on net and their goaltender came out to the referee, and next thing you know they’re clearing the bench and we’re sent home.”
Zach Evans-Renaud scored for the Bearcats at 2:17 into the first period, and the Ramblers were losing the game 1-0 when the game was stopped.
The Ramblers were also trailing in the shots on goal department by 20-8.
“There was a little bit of fog at times but it wasn’t to the point where, in games years ago, if you got fog you’d skate around to lift the fog and play again,” said Bottomley. “If it was a lot foggier I could see them skating around and lifting it up, but it wasn’t to the point where it was dangerous.”
The stoppage is costly in more ways than one.
“We travelled down by bus and it’s expensive to come down,” he said. “And it’s a good measuring stick. It’s a good time to evaluate the players before the regular season.”
And how was his team playing up to the point of the stoppage?
“I wasn’t happy with the start, but as the game started going we were getting better and better,” he said. “I wasn’t worried about the score as much as getting the kids out there to play to see who could play. Truro’s a good club and it was something I was looking forward to the test the team in the preseason.”
361 people attended the game at the Colchester Legion Stadium.
Amherst opens the regular season on Thursday in New Glasgow against the Weeks Crushers while the home opener is Saturday against Woodstock.