AMHERST – Confident, but not cocky.
That’s the feeling among Amherst Ramblers players and coaches as they head into Game-2 of their best-of-seven Maritime Hockey League division semi-final series against the Yarmouth Mariners Tuesday night at Amherst Stadium.
“They know it’s not the series,” said Jim Bottomley, Ramblers bench boss and general manager, after yesterday’s team practice. “We’ve won one game and we can’t lose sight of how hard we worked to get that win.”
The Ramblers won Game-1 in dramatic fashion. Down 4-1 early in the second period, Bottomley called a time out and talked to his team.
“The time out turned everything around,” said Ramblers forward Mitch O’Neill after yesterdays practice. “We settled down and got into a groove. We took the game to them instead of sitting back. Instead of weathering the storm, we took the storm to them.”
The Ramblers went on to win the game 5-4 in overtime after Brett Shute scored eight seconds into the extra frame.
O’Neill said the win has given the Ramblers confidence.
“But it’s only one game,” he added. “You need four wins, so we’ll put that win on the backburner and focus on Game-2 and take it one game at a time.”
Bottomley wants his team to be ready the second the puck drops.
“We have to take it to them,” he said. “ “We can’t get behind before we play our style of hockey. We have to come out from the start and play that style and keep building and building throughout the game.”
O’Neill and Bottomley are both looking forward to playing at home.
“Especially after the final regular season game here,” said Bottomley “The crowd was a nice, noisy crowd.
“Even though we did lose the game (7-4 loss March 7 to the Weeks Crushers) they appreciated the way we played. If we can get crowds like that back again it will be an extra player for us.”
“The home crowd makes a huge difference,” he said.
Tonight’s game starts at 7:30 p.m.
Advanced tickets for tonight’s game are available at the Amherst Stadium box office beginning today at 1 p.m., until game time.
On Twitter: @ADNdave