AMHERST – Jeff MacPherson scored two goals as part of a four-goal outburst early in the third period as the Amherst Ramblers defeated the Metro Shipbuilders 5-2 in Maritime Junior Hockey League action at the Amherst Stadium on Saturday.
The win comes after a 5-2 setback to the Yarmouth Mariners on Friday.
“It felt good to get my first goals as an Amherst Rambler,” MacPherson said following the game. “We had a really game as a team, we were passing the puck really well and were communicating pretty good.”
MacPherson, acquired from the Woodstock Slammers last week, scored 4:14 into the third period after J.P. Harvey, with his first of two, scored for Metro with seven seconds left to go in the second period.
Josh Pugsley and Brett Shute added assists on the goal.
“We refocused ourselves in the third period. We went hard to the net and got lots of shots,” he said.
After Yan Legace extended the lead to 4-1 from Brock Morrison and Kody Orr, MacPherson took a pass from Pugsley and put it by a helpless Shipbuilders’ goalie to extend the round out scoring in the game for Amherst. Shute added an assist.
Harvey scored a power play marker at the 9:20 mark for Halifax.
Morrison opened the scoring 11:20 into the opening period on a pretty passing play with Orr and Ben Berisha while Shute scored late in the second period from Pugsley, carrying the puck from behind the net and stuffing it by Anderson Snair.
Halifax pulled to within one when Harvey shoveled a lose puck in the crease by Ramblers’ goalie Chase, Marchand, making his first start of the regular season.
Tempers flared early in the third period when Ryan Caswell drilled Connor McCoach in front of the Shipbuilders’ net. While McCoach lay on the ice injured, Caswell fought with Jamie Blair while Berisha and Kyle Kokotailo also fought. Caswell, Berisha and Kokotailo each received game misconducts.
Amherst outshot Metro 38-20.
“I thought we played very well. Their goalie was outstanding for the first two periods,” Jim Bottomley said. “We had to keep going, we knew they were going to start going in for us.”
Bottomley said the win was a great bounce back after Friday’s loss.
“In Yarmouth, shots were even. We just couldn’t get a break. As they scored, we got frustrated,” Bottomley said. “It’s a learning experience. We have to know that it’s a 60-minute game.”
The Ramblers were missing two players on Saturday as both Maxime Richard and Mitch O’Neill were out with injuries. Richard suffered an eye injury Friday in Yarmouth when his head was smacked against the glass while O’Neill injured his ankle. Both are day-to-day.
On Friday, Matt Tomah had two goals for the Mariners, who scored twice in the second and twice in the third en route to the win. Matt Wright, Josh Desmond and Morgan Messenger each scored once.
Orr and Kyle Beckwith replied for the Rambelers with MacPherson, Pugsley, Caswell and Jamie Bishop adding assists.
Each team had 32 shots on goal with Travis Wilkins earning the win and Richard Tingley suffering the loss.
Amherst returns to action on Wednesday in Miramichi before coming home to face the RBC Cup host Summerside Western Capitals.