Ramblers seeking seventh game magic

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Force deciding game with 2-1 win over Crushers

The Amherst Ramblers and Weeks Crushers are going to a seventh game after Amherst won Game 6 by a score of 2-1.

Justin Thomas of the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers carries the puck into the Weeks Crushers zone in MHL action on Friday at the Amherst Stadium. The Ramblers forced Game 7 with a 2-1 win.

NEW GLASGOW – The Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers are not done yet.

Facing elimination on home ice, the Ramblers built a 2-0 lead and held off a late rally to defeat the Weeks Crushers 2-1 and send their best-of-seven Eastlink Division semifinal series back to New Glasgow for Game 7 on Saturday.

“Playing at home they didn’t want to let it go here,” Ramblers coach Jim Bottomley said after the game. “They knew if we could get it to Game 7 it would be anyone’s game. Now we have a chance to do just that.”

Game time at the Wellness Centre is 7 p.m.

Tantramar Community Radio CFTA 107.9 will have live play-by-play action.

The Ramblers opened the scoring early in the first period when off a delayed offside the Crushers fell asleep and didn’t see Francis Alarie sneaking in behind the defence.

Bruce Hornbrook fed his linemate a pass and Alarie broke in all alone on Brandon Thibeau to give the Rambers a 1-0 lead on a shorthanded goal.

Brett Shute extended the lead to 2-0 14:55 into the second period when he took a pass across the slot from Brock Morrison and beat Thibeau with a wrist shot. Morrison set the play up when he came in the left side, carried the puck behind the net and fed Shute, who was camped at the far post behind the Crushers’ defence.

The Crushers pulled Thibeau with just under two minutes to go and were rewarded with 1:18 to play when Mitch Deruelle fed a pass to David Stephens who was trailing the play as it broke into the Ramblers’ zone.

With eight seconds to go and the faceoff deep in Ramblers’ territory, the Crushers couldn’t get control off the draw and the Ramblers blocked the puck a few times to preserve the win.

“We knew they were going to come hard tonight and we tried to stay out of the box. We still took a couple of penalties, but we adjusted our penalty kill and it seemed to work tonight,” Bottomley said.

Shots on goal were 31-27 in favour of Amherst.

The Ramblers were without Robert Davis, who sat out the game after receiving his third penalty for head contact last Saturday.

Heading back to New Glasgow, Bottomley said it will be important to get an early lead like last Saturday’s Game 5, but it will be equally important to stay out of the penalty box.

“Our biggest thing is to stay out of the box,” he said. “We’re going to take it to them, we won’t be sitting back.”

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers, Wellness Centre

Geographic location: NEW GLASGOW

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