AMHERST – Coming off what was a bitter lesson, the Amherst Ramblers find themselves playing what could be one of the top junior teams in Canada when the Western Capitals come to town on Saturday.
The Ramblers suffered a tough 5-4 loss to the Miramichi Timberwolves on Wednesday, battling back from a three-goal third period deficit to make things interesting.
“It’s one of those games where we just have to learn from our mistakes and move on,” Ramblers coach Jim Bottomley said Thursday. “We have a good hockey team, but we have to put three periods together to win hockey games. We sort of got away from that last night and fell behind.”
The Capitals, who will host the RBC Cup next May, have always given the Ramblers fits. This year’s squad features a high-powered offence led by former Moncton Wildcats’ forward Scott Trask, who had four goals in a 9-2 romp over Miramichi last Sunday; and Mitch Maynard, who was dealt by the Ramblers to the Caps for Ben Berisha and Brock Morrison.
“They have a good team and will probably be among the top teams in the country before they’re done adding players,” Bottomley said. “We showed two weeks ago that we can play with the best teams. If we play like we did against Woodstock with three consistent periods we’ll do OK. The guys need to show up to play every night and need to work hard every shift.”
Despite losing a game he feels his team should have won, Bottomley is not about to overreact. He said it’s still early enough in the season to make the necessary adjustments and he’s confident the players will be ready to go against Summerside.
The Ramblers will have Ryan Caswell and Berisha back in the lineup Saturday. Both received one-game suspensions from last Saturday’s game against Metro.
It will also be a homecoming of sorts for Springhill’s Wes Herrett. Herrett, a product of the Cumberland County Minor Hockey Association, played with the Ramblers in 2009-10 before joining the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles the following season.
He split last season between the Gatineau Olympiques and the P.E.I. Rocket. The Ramblers traded his rights to Summerside last season for Cole MacMillan.
Summerside Western Capitals vs. Amherst Ramblers
Saturday, 7 p.m., Amherst Stadium
Ramblers coming off 5-4 loss in Miramichi
Summerside defeated Miramichi 9-2 last Sunday, played last night in New Glasgow against Weeks Crushers.
Summerside’s Scott Trask had four goals and an assist against Miramichi last week; Jamie Bishop and Maxime Richard each had a goal and an assist Wednesday against the Timberwolves.
Amherst’s next game is Oct. 6 at home against Campbellton