NEW GLASGOW – Jamie Bishop scored a decisive goal and added two assists as the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers clinched third spot in the Eastlink Division with a 6-2 win over the Weeks Crushers in Maritime Junior Hockey League action here Thursday.
With the Ramblers up 4-2, Bishop took a pass from Maxime Richard and fired a shot past Crushers’ goalie Brandon Thibeau to put Amherst up by three in a game that saw the Crushers rally from a three-goal second period deficit to pull within a goal late in the period.
“The boys played an excellent game. They executed well and where physical,” Ramblers’ coach Jim Bottomley said following the game. “There was just one spot in the second period when they made it close, but other than we took the play to them all night.”
Jacob Conrad snuck behind the Crushers’ defence late in the first period and took a long pass from Bishop and put Amherst on the board with just over five minutes to play in the period.
Danny Harquail and Mitch O’Neill each scored early goals in the second period as the Ramblers jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but Garrett Holmes put the Crushers on the board and Andrew Graham pulled Pictou to within a goal before Patrick Harrison put the puck under the crossbar on the power play with 32 seconds to play in the period to Amherst some breathing room.
After Bishop made it 5-2, Jeff MacPherson scored on the power play with 3:48 to play to round out scoring.
Richard had three assists for Amherst and Orr had two for Amherst, who were without defenceman Ben MacDonald and forward Josh Pugsley, while Cam McDonald, Harquail and MacPherson each had single helpers.
The Crushers outshot the Ramblers 44-30, but most of the shots came from the perimeter. When tested, Tingley was up to the task making several key stops when the Crushers rallied in the second period.
One save in the middle period qualified for the highlight of the night when on a two-on-one in front of the net, Tingley rolled over on his back and kicked a puck out of midair with his pad.
Amherst returns to action on Saturday at home against the Dieppe Commandos. Game time is 7 p.m. The Ramblers are in Dartmouth on Tuesday to face the Metro Shipbuilders before coming home on Wednesday to face the Crushers.
“Dieppe has a good team and we’re not taking them for granted. They have an explosive lineup, but besides the Truro game we have really cut down on our goals against,” Bottomley said.