Ramblers start hot, end cold

Dave Mathieson
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AMHERST - After a pair of weekend wins, the Amherst Ramblers were on a hot streak heading to Halifax last night, but after two periods at the Forum, their fire was extinguished.
"We totally collapsed in the third period and as a coach I'll take full responsibility," Ramblers coach Corey Crocker said after the Ramblers gave up five unanswered goals in the third period against the Halifax Lions last night and lost by a score of 6-5.
"I give credit to the Lions, they played a great game," Crocker added. "But we gave up five goals we should have never given up. It's a lesson learned."
On the bright side, the Ramblers had a good first two periods and Adam Verrette had a hat trick.
The first period ended with the Ramblers leading 2-1, with goals coming from Paul Roebothan and Verrette.
The Ramblers came out in the second and added two more goals off the sticks of Verrette and rookie Rambler Kody Orr.
Verrette added his third goal at just one second into the third but from there on in it was all Lions.
"One thing we learned is you have to protect your lead in this league when you have them because the other teams in this league are good."
The first two games on the weekend was the story of Jordan Escott's getting his groove back.
Not that it was ever really gone, it's just showing up on the score sheet again.
After a two-game point drought, Escott got back to business this weekend, notching three points as the Ramblers beat the Restigouche Tigers 5-3 in Campbellton, N.B. Friday night.
On Saturday, Escott had an assist and the only goal in the shootout as Amherst squeaked out a 4-3 win over the Truro Bearcats.
"You know Jordan expects himself to contribute offensively, that's his game. He played very well last night and again tonight," Ramblers head coach and general manager Corey Crocker said after the win over Truro Saturday night. "People evaluate hockey players all the time by points, but Jordan Escott, in the two games he didn't have points in last weekend, was very good. Very good in the defensive end and in the areas you need to be good in."
The Ramblers went down early on Saturday night after Truro's Brett Frazee scored less than a minute in.
But the coaching staff didn't panic.
"It was funny, we just left it up to them and let them figure it out for once," Crocker said. "You give a team a test sometimes and see how they respond. There's a lot of character in that dressing room and good leadership."
To match Truro's first-minute marker, Paul Roebothan scored in the last minute of the first to tie the game 1-1.
From there, the Ramblers held leads of 2-1 and 3-2, but Tatamagouche native Dana Fraser scored at 16:19 of the third to send the game to overtime.
That allowed Escott to work his magic in the shootout and clinch the victory.
"It was exciting. It's still early in the season, but there's such a rivalry with that group over there that's been here forever that it's always nice to win against them," Crocker said. "They've got a very, very good hockey club and it's a testament to their coaching staff and their drafting. They're a good hockey team." - with Justin Dickie

Organizations: Halifax Lions

Geographic location: AMHERST, Campbellton, Tatamagouche

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