Ramblers, Blues forced to postpone weekend contests

Jody Jewers
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AMHERST - Mother Nature put the kibosh on the 2010 debuts for the Amherst Ramblers and Cumberland County Blues.
A fierce winter storm engulfed the Maritimes on the weekend, bringing up to 30 centimetres of snow in some areas.
The Ramblers were scheduled to play twice in the Maritime Junior A Hockey League on the weekend, a Saturday night home date with the Bridgewater Lumberjacks followed by a Sunday afternoon trip to New Glasgow to face the Pictou County Weeks Crushers, while the Blues were slated to host the Glace Bay Miners on Sunday in Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League play in Springhill.
The Ramblers have rescheduled their game with Bridgewater to Tuesday night at the Stadium at 7:30 p.m. A make-up date for the Pictou County game has yet to be confirmed. The Blues are tentatively looking at the weekend of Jan. 16-17 to play Glace Bay.
"The boys were excited to play, but nobody wanted to be put at risk in terms of safety of travel," Ramblers coach and general manager Corey Crocker said.
Seven games in the MJAHL were postponed on the weekend. The only team that decided to brave the winter weather was the Summerside Western Capitals, who made it to Yarmouth for a two-game series with the Mariners.
Summerside won the opener 5-3 on Saturday, but Yarmouth bounced back with a 5-2 triumph Sunday. The result boosted Yarmouth into fourth place in the Bent Division. Amherst now trails the fifth-place Halifax Lions by two points for the final Bent playoff berth. Halifax has six games in hand.
Yarmouth leads Amherst by four points. Both clubs have played 32 games.
The Ramblers will now play four times in six days leading up to the Jan. 10 signing deadline, all against divisional opponents. Amherst visits Pictou County on Thursday, then hosts Halifax on Saturday and heads to Truro the following night.
The Ramblers have lost their last eight games, and are 11-19-1-1 on the season.
"We're still in a position to add players and we'll keep evaluating what we have over these next four games," Crocker said.
"If the right trade is there to improve our team, and if it's in the best financial interests of our club to make, we'll make it."
The Blues haven't played since Dec. 12, when they extended their winning streak to 14 games. Assuming their home-and-home series with the Antigonish Bulldogs this weekend goes ahead, it will have been 28 days since Cumberland's last contest.
"It's been too long of a break," said Blues head coach Dave Hyatt.
"But other teams are having to deal with the bad weather, too. Everybody's in the same boat."
Cumberland held a 15-point lead over the Pictou County Scotians in the Sid Rowe Division heading into last night's game between the Scotians and Antigonish Bulldogs. The Blues are two points up on the St. Margarets Bay Ducks for first overall in the 10-team league. The Blues' record stands at 18-2-1-0.
Cumberland has 19 players on its roster with the addition of forward Zach Carson from the Ramblers. Hyatt said his club is looking to add a couple more bodies before Jan. 10.
"We're still working on a couple of things," Hyatt said. "We could have an announcement by the middle of the week."
Cumberland hosts the Bulldogs on Friday at 7:30 p.m., then travels to Antigonish on Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

jjewers@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Maritime Junior A Hockey League, Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League, Summerside Western Capitals Mariners Bent Division Pictou County Scotians Sid Rowe Division

Geographic location: Pictou County, Yarmouth, Glace Bay Halifax New Glasgow Springhill Antigonish

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  • Vince
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    The inclement weather sure can destroy a schedule, now with Amherst playing Tuesday night we all hope that the fans do show up even though many of them will probably stay home to watch the CANADA vs US of A gold medal game in the World Junior Championships. Four games in six nights may be a bit much however let us all hope and cheer these young Ramblers on. THANK YOU

    GO RAMBLERS GO