AMHERST – The Amherst Ramblers built a four-goal lead after two periods and almost let it slip away, escaping with a 6-4 win over the Campbellton Tigers in Maritime Junior Hockey League action Saturday night.
The Ramblers are in Dieppe on Sunday to face the Commandos. Game time is 2:30 p.m. at the Arthur J. LeBlanc Arena. The game is being broadcast on 101.7 FM CKDH.
Holding a 4-0 lead, after scoring three in the first period and one in the second, the Ramblers saw the Tigers pull to within a goal early in the third before scoring a pair of goals later in the period to sandwich one by the Tigers, who made things interesting in the last five minutes.
Two of Campbellton’s goals came in the final period’s first minute as Robert Pelletier scored twice with Ramblers’ rookie Ryan Caswell in the box serving a double-minor for high-sticking.
“It was a win, but we let it slip away in the third period. We took a bad penalty off a faceoff and we paid a price,” Ramblers’ coach Jim Bottomley said. “It was one of those games we should of won, but barely won.”
Amherst opened the scoring on the power play 13:39 into the opening frame as Josh Pugsley scored his first MHL goal with Jamie Bishop adding an assist before Dylan Brake just over two minutes later to extend the lead to two goals with Ben MacDonald and Patrick Harrison adding assists.
The Ramblers added another goal 11 seconds later with Ben Berisha scoring. Brock Morris and Willie MacDonadl added assists.
Mitch O’Neill scored on the power play 7:46 into the middle period from Willie MacDonald and Maxime Richard and it appeared the Ramblers would cruise to the win.
After Pelletier scored his two goals 26 seconds apart early in the third, Oleg Hayduk pulled Campbellton to within a goal at 9:05.
Brock Morrison restored Amherst’s two-goal cushion redirecting a pass from Richard by the Tigers goal at 11:00 with Berisha adding an assist.
The Tigers again pulled to within one when Frankie Hart scored at 15:38, but Brett Shute continued his hot streak scoring on a breakaway at 17:47 from Jeff MacPherson.
Amherst out shot the Tigers 43-32.
“I was a little disappointed with the way we carried ourselves in the third period. You can’t take anyone easy in this league. This is one of the best leagues in Canada and you have to be on your game to win,” Bottomley said.
Against the Commandos, Bottomley said it will key for the Ramblers to skate and get more pucks at the net.