Coaching staff pleased with progress of young talent
It takes a full 60-minute effort to win a hockey game.
Pictou hands Ramblers 5-3 loss in season opener
NEW GLASGOW - It takes a full 60-minute effort to win a hockey game.
This was a valuable lesson learned for the Amherst Ramblers here Thursday as a bad four-minute stretch cost them a 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Pictou County Weeks Crushers.
"I'm extremely happy with the way we played, the way we battled tonight, We just played a bad four-minute stretch and that cost us,'' Corey Crocker, coach and GM of the Ramblers said.
"The mental aspect of the game is so important and against a veteran hockey club like they have, our young guys and our veterans learned a valuable lesson tonight,'' he added.
Despite the loss, one that Crocker doesn't take lightly, he was pleased with the way the team reacted to the Crushers pressure and felt the club will be better served for games like this down the road.
"We responded well in the third period and I was proud of the boys for that,'' he said.
"I challenged them to come out and win the final period and I have to take my hat off to everyone for the way they played in the final 20-minutes of action.
Down 1-0 to the young and rebuilding Ramblers after an Adam Chipman power play goal 10 minutes in, Crushers' head coach Troy Ryan called timeout and promptly gave his club a stern lecture.
"We were a little jittery to start the game and they weren't doing the things we asked them to do," Ryan said.
"We weren't playing physical, and we took a couple of lazy penalties early on. I thought it was appropriate to call timeout to wake them up."
Whatever he said worked.
Following the verbal barrage, Andrew Paquet intercepted a pass at the Amherst blue line, fought through traffic along the boards, and got the puck to Travis Francis, who fed Ryan Stoddard in front.
Soon after, with Pictou County on a power play, a Cody Biron shot from the blue line made its way through traffic to take a 2-1 lead into the break.
The Crushers, who in the pre-season looked like a team that can score goals in bunches, got three more in the first three minutes of the second period, with Laughlin MacInnis, Danny Morgan and Geoff Hum all collecting goals.
Matthew Squires and Travis Turner scored for Amherst in the third period.
The two teams meet again Saturday night at Amherst Stadium.
This will mark the return of former Ramblers' forward Scott McManaman to his hometown for the first time in a visitors' jersey.
McManaman played on a line with Geoff Hum and Andrew Joudrey.
"We'll be nervous like we were tonight for the home opener, but the fans will carry us through that,'' Crocker said.
"People hate coming to Amherst to play and if we work hard like we did here tonight, we can fix our mistakes and be a force all season long."
Game time is 7 p.m.
*With files from Kevin Adshade, New Glasgow Evening News