Renew rivalry with first-place Weeks Crushers
The Amherst Ramblers hope to extend their winning streak to eight games when they face the Crushers Thursday in New Glasgow.
The Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers will renew their divisional rivalry with the Weeks Crushers on Thursday in New Glasgow.
AMHERST – Win and the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers will be that much closer to first place; lose and the job to win the division crown will be that much more difficult.
The Ramblers will be in New Glasgow on Thursday night to face the division-leading Weeks Crushers in Maritime Junior Hockey League action. Game time is 7 p.m. at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.
Amherst is five points back of the Crushers, who at 23-6-4 lead the division by four points over both Truro and Yarmouth.
“We showed the last time we played them that we can compete with them and beat them, we just have to put in a full 60 minutes,” Ramblers’ coach Jim Bottomley said Wednesday. “They’re a highly-skilled hockey club so we have to finish our checks and take care of our own end of the rink without giving up too many quality scoring chances.”
The last time the two teams met, Dec. 5 in New Glasgow, the Ramblers rallied late to force overtime before dropping a 4-3 shootout decision. Amherst nipped the Crushers 5-4 at the Amherst Stadium on Nov. 30.
The Crushers claimed the previous two games in the season series.
Amherst is coming off a sweep of weekend action in which the club nipped Summerside 2-1 on Sunday, thumped Bridgewater 7-0 on Saturday at the stadium and edged the Dieppe Commandos last Thursday.
The Ramblers, who are on a seven-game winning streak, are home to Woodstock on Saturday at 7 p.m. before travelling to Truro to face the Bearcats at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre on Sunday at 2 p.m.
“It shows how close this division is when you consider how many games we’ve won in a row and are still in fourth,” Bottomley said. “Every game is important. Now we have a chance to make a move on the division leaders. A win and we’re only three points back.”
Bottomley said the club has spent a lot of time working on defensive zone coverage in preparation for this weekend’s games. He’s also been pleased with the work of forwards Brock Morrison, who is in a three-way tie for the league’s scoring lead; Bruce Hornbrook, who had two points against Dieppe and three against Bridgewater; and Justin Thomas, who has four points in three games since coming over from Valley in a trade.