Ramblers pick up MacDonald from Woodstock

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Amherst in Dieppe on Thursday night

The Amherst Ramblers have acquired defenceman Shane MacDonald from the Woodstock Slammers.

The Amherst Ramblers have acquired defenceman Shane MacDonald from the Woodstock Slammers.

AMHERST – Missing a key part of their blueline corps, the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers have gone to the trade front to pick up a defenceman.

The Ramblers have acquired defenceman Shane MacDonald from the Woodstock Slammers in exchange for a fifth-round selection in next June’s entry draft.

“With Willie MacDonald expected to be out for a month we needed to make a move to shore up our defence,” Ramblers coach Jim Bottomley said. “He’s a good defensive defenceman and he’s 18, which is an upside in that we will have him for a couple of years.”

MacDonald had two goals and two assists in 24 games with the Slammers before leaving the club a few weeks ago to join the Moncton Vitos of the New Brunswick Junior B League. He will continue living in Moncton and commute with new teammates Kyle Beckwith and Serge Boisvert.

He had a goal and six assists for seven points in 45 games last season with the Slammers.

He’s expected to be in the lineup on Thursday night when the Ramblers meet the Dieppe Commandos at the Arthur J. LeBlanc Arena.

The two teams have split the season series to date, with Amherst winning 6-4 on home ice in October and the Commandos winning 4-2 in Dieppe in November.

“They have a very good hockey team and we won’t be taking them lightly,” Bottomley said. “They made a big trade last year at the deadline to get their team ready for this year and they’ve made a few more moves this year. They’re a good offensive team, but if there is an area we can take advantage of it may be their defence. We have to focus on keeping the puck deep in their zone and generate some offence off that pressure.”

A different Ramblers’ lineup will take to the ice in Dieppe tonight with both Justin Thomas, acquired from the Valley Wildcats, and Francis Allarie expected to play, while MacDonald will likely make his Ramblers’ debut as well.

The club will be without forward Daniel Walsh, who is expected to be out of the lineup for up to six weeks because of an upper body injury suffered against the Wildcats on Saturday.

The trades give the Ramblers 10 20-year-olds, meaning there’s going to be a healthy competition for who plays and who sits.

“They’ll push each other for those playing spots. No one wants to be the one sitting out,” Bottomley said. “It’s good for the coaching staff in that there’ll be a little bit of competition.”

With the trading deadline set for 10 p.m. on Friday, Bottomley expects to be busy. He’s working on adding at least one more defenceman and a couple more forwards before the deadline. He won’t rule out adding another 20-year-old or two.

The Ramblers return home on Saturday to face the Bridgewater Lumberjacks, a team Bottomley refuses to take lightly.

“They haven’t had much success in the standings, but they always give us a tough game,” Bottomley said. “They

Amherst defeated the Lumberjacks 6-4 just before the Christmas break and hammered them 9-3 in Bridgewater in November. They also nipped them 4-2 in Bridgewater earlier in the season.

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

 

 

Organizations: Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers, New Brunswick Junior B League

Geographic location: Dieppe, Moncton, Bridgewater

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