AMHERST – Jim Bottomley still remembers Game 7 of last spring’s Bent Division final series like it happened yesterday.
The Amherst Ramblers will rekindle that rivalry and try to erase some bad memories when they head to the Mariners’ Centre Friday to face a team some are picking to win the division.
“They have a good team and the talk is they could be the team to beat in the Bent Division,” Bottomley said Thursday. “I think we have a good team too, but it’s going to take a complete effort to beat them.”
The game is the first of two key divisional matchups this weekend for the Ramblers, coming off a big 4-1 win over the Woodstock Slammers in Amherst last Saturday.
The Ramblers host the Metro Shipbuilders at the stadium on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Bottomley said the team is in good shape heading into this weekend’s games.
“These are two big divisional games, ones we have to win,” Bottomley said. “The way this division is shaping up, both games will be very important for us.”
Bottomley said his players learned a valuable lesson in their season-opening overtime loss to the Weeks Crushers. It’s one they carried forward into the win against the defending league champions and one he hopes is reinforced this weekend.
He said reducing the number of turnovers will be important against both clubs as will staying out of the penalty box. The team has spent a lot of time this week working on team systems and special teams.
“We have to work hard every shift because if you take one off you’re going to pay a price,” Bottomley said. “With the team we have, we’re a hard working team. We need that kind of effort every night.”
Yarmouth comes into tonight’s game with a pair of wins over the Bridgewater Lumberjacks while Metro is winless, dropping an overtime game to Dieppe and a pair of regulation losses to Woodstock and Truro.
“Metro will be a hard working team. They seem to have gotten off to a tough start, but they come to play every night and they will not be an easy team to beat,” Bottomley said.
The Ramblers will be going sticking with lineup that defeated Woodstock. Bottomley said defenceman Jeff Krichew remains out of the lineup after suffering a concussion in the Saint John Sea Dogs training camp. It’s unknown when he will return.
Did You Know:
Game Time: 7 p.m. at the Amherst Stadium
Who’s Playing: Metro Shipbuilders (0-2-0-1) vs. Amherst Ramblers (1-0-1-0)
Who’s Hot: Kody Orr, Amherst 2G, 3A; Maxime Richard, Amherst 3G, 2A; J.P. Harvey, Metro 2G, 2A
Next Game: Wednesday, Amherst vs. Miramichi; Saturday (Sept. 29), Summerside vs. Amherst