Ramblers lose season opener in shootout

Jody Jewers
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AMHERST -- The Ramblers opened their 2009-10 Maritime Junior A Hockey League season with a 6-5 shootout loss to the Yarmouth Mariners at the Stadium.

Following is the webcast transcript:

Ramblers scratches are Eric Boudreau (ankle, expected to return next week), Jonathan Pardy (shoulder, out until late October), Jordie Shaw (healthy) and Greg Taylor (healthy).

Jon Waye in goal for Amherst; Justin Collier gets the start for Yarmouth.

Referee tonight is Tim Connors.

7:08 p.m. -- Puck has dropped and we're underway.

7:09 p.m. -- Connors clamping down early, as minor pushing and shoving in front of Collier results in a minor penalty to Amherst's Zach Carson for roughing at :52.

7:11 p.m. -- Drew McLaughlin with the first big hit of the night, dropping Yarmouth's Kenny Mahoney in front of the Ramblers bench.

7:11 p.m. -- Mariners capitalize as Waye is unable to cover up on a scramble at the side of the net, and Neil Coombs is there to poke it home at 2:33. Mahoney gets the assist. 1-0 Yarmouth.

7:16 p.m. -- Ramblers with their first PP opportunity, as Coombs goes off for boarding at 5:18.

7:18 p.m. -- Yarmouth kills off the penalty. Ramblers a bit too fancy, passing too much and shooting too little.

7:19 p.m. -- Mariners get their second PP chance, with Ryan Matheson off for interference at 7:55.

7:22 p.m. -- Yarmouth increases its lead just as the penalty expires. A harmless looking point shot gets by Waye, who somehow lost his stick during the sequence. Coombs from Carl Hayes and John Hubley at 9:54. 2-0 Yarmouth.

7:25 p.m. -- Ramblers get another PP chance, as goalie Justin Collier gets two for slashing at 11:37. Coombs to serve the minor.

7:27 p.m. -- Giveaway by rookie Amherst defender Brandon Mercer allows Michael Crawley to go in alone shorthanded and beat Waye through the five-hole at 12:15. 3-0 Yarmouth.

7:29 p.m. -- Ramblers generate no serious scoring chances as Yarmouth kills another penalty.

7:30 p.m. -- Ramblers will get another PP chance, with Graham Ferguson off for slashing at 14:07.

7:31 p.m. -- Ramblers get some much-needed momentum as Simon Bissonnette bangs in a rebound off a goalmouth scramble at 14:25. Assist to Justin Matthews. 3-1 Yarmouth.

7:37 p.m. -- Bissonnette takes a questionable tripping call at 17:37. Yarmouth looking for a third power-play goal.

7:39 p.m. -- Less than a minute left in the period.

7:40 p.m. -- Amherst's Jeremy Barron apparently had his visor tilted too high on his helmet, or possibly a crack in it, and gets a 10-minute misconduct for illegal equipment at 19;28.

7:42 p.m. -- Penalty killed and first period ends. Shots flatter the Ramblers at 16-12, with maybe three or four being tough saves for Collier.

After 20 minutes -- Ramblers looked a little nervous, especially Waye, and didn't come out of the blocks strong against a Yarmouth team with a lot of size.

7:57 p.m. -- Second period underway.

8:00 p.m. -- Amherst's Scott Bragg with a lot ot jaw-jacking after the whistle, assuming the role of agitator.

8:03 p.m. -- Connors catches Yarmouth with too many men on the ice at 3:43. Shane Innes to serve the minor.

8:06 p.m. -- Justin Matthews squeezes by his man on a face-off at the Yarmouth blueline and feathers a pretty backhand pass to Adam Chipman, who tips it past Collier at 4:56. Still no even-strength goals in this game. 3-2 Yarmouth.

8:11 p.m. -- Intensity has picked up, with a lot more hitting. Bragg is flying around the ice trying to hammer anything in a blue jersey.

8:13 p.m. -- Ramblers receive another PP, with Michael Crawley to sit for hooking at 9:02.

8:15 p.m. -- Yarmouth with a successful PK.

8:16 p.m. -- Shane Innes whistled for high-sticking at 11:27. Ramblers being given ample opportunities to tie this game.

8:17 p.m. -- And tie it they do, as Shane O'Byrne redirects a point shot past Collier at 12:25. Assists to Derek Smith and Wes Herrett. 3-3.

8:21 p.m. -- Shots are 8-5 Amherst with 5;54 left in the period.

8:21 p.m. -- Our first fight is a dandy at 14:09, as Yarmouth's Graham Ferguson and Amherst's Scott Bragg trade right hands for a good 15 seconds at centre ice. A draw, but Ferguson had Bragg by a good four inches and 20 pounds, so Bragg gets the extra point on the judges scorecards for holding his ground against a bigger opponent.

8:24 p.m. -- Yarmouth retakes the lead on Carl Hayes' goal at 14:59. Assists to Neil Coombs and Kenny Mahoney. 4-3 Yarmouth.

8:26 p.m. -- Another Mariners minor as Andrew Walker gets two for tripping at 15:33.

8:27 p.m. -- Hard work by captain Chipman and we're tied again. Chipman lifts the stick of a Yarmouth player to keep the puck in the offensive zone, then outwaits a sliding defender before feeding Jeremy Barron in the slot, who goes top shelf on Collier at 16:30. 4-4.

8:32 p.m. -- Rejean Deveau with a dagger in the final minute, sneaking in behind the Amherst defence to go five-hole on Waye at 19:13. Assists to Carl Hayes and Peter Baldwin. 5-4 Yarmouth.

8:33 p.m. -- Second period ends. Shots 12-10 Amherst in the frame, and 28-22 Ramblers overall.

After 40 minutes -- It's Yarmouth's size against Amherst's speed in a battle of wills. Amherst's PP is firing on all cylinders. Waye still not looking all that comfortable in the Ramblers net.

8:50 p.m. -- Third period underway.

8:52 p.m. -- Ramblers pressing to tie it. Drew McLaughlin couldn't convert with Collier down and out.

8:55 p.m. -- Carl Hayes is upended in the neutral zone, and Josh Coleman is called for the trip at 4:41. Yarmouth on the PP.

8:58 p.m. -- Ramblers kill off the penalty.

9:03 p.m. -- Ramblers spending too long on the ice per shift and are starting to tire a bit. Very few whistles in this period.

9:04 p.m. -- Ramblers with their eighth power-play chance. Dakota Johnson gets two for high-sticking at 11:47.

9:07 p.m. -- Shots now 32-32, 10-4 for Yarmouth in the third. Penalty is over.

9:08 p.m. -- Ramblers with their first even-strength goal. Josh Coleman slaps home a rebound off a point shot at 14:14. Assists to Adam Chipman and Jeremy Barron. 5-5.

9:10 p.m. -- Trevor Layton with a hooking call at 15:13. Yarmouth on the PP.

9:13 p.m. -- 34 seconds left in the penalty. Waye doing a better job holding his ground and covering up after the first shot.

9:15 p.m. -- Penalty over. Big kill for the Ramblers.

9:17 p.m. -- Last minute of regulation.

9:18 p.m. -- We're going to overtime. Shots 12-6 Yarmouth in the third, 34-34 overall.

After 60 minutes -- Both teams sucking wind out there, as the tempo has dropped and the play has been generally sloppy. To be expected for the first game of the season. Ramblers deserve credit for getting it this far after being down 3-0, and never leading in this game.

9:21 p.m. -- Overtime has started.

9:23 p.m. -- Adam Chipman just misses the far post on a 1-on-2.

9:25 p.m. -- 2:41 left in OT. Face-off in the Yarmouth zone.

9:26 p.m. -- Simon Bissonnette with a great sequence, wallpapering Yarmouth's Ryan Nickerson and following that up with a quality scoring chance.

9:28 p.m. -- Final minute of OT.

9:28 p.m. -- 33.3 seconds left. Face-off in the Amherst zone. Yarmouth calls timeout.

9:30 p.m. -- Drew McLaughlin with a glorious chance to end it, outskating Yarmouth's John Hubley and breaking in alone, only to get robbed by Collier. Faceoff in the Yarmouth zone with 17.2 seconds to go. Ramblers call timeout.

9:32 p.m. -- Yarmouth with a last-second flurry, but Waye holds his ground and we're headed to a shootout.

Shots 7-7 in OT, 41-41 for the game.

Ryan Nickerson to start the shootout for the Mariners, beats Waye low blocker side.

Jeremy Barron is Amherst's first shooter, stopped by Collier.

Carl Hayes is next for Yarmouth, Waye beaten low blocker side again.

Kody Orr needs to score to keep the Ramblers alive, but Collier puts the paddle down and stops the deke.

Yarmouth takes it 6-5 in a shootout.

Three stars -- 1. Neil Coombs, Yarmouth; 2. Adam Chipman, Amherst; 3. Carl Hayes, Yarmouth.

Ramblers are on the road Sunday in Bridgewater at 7 p.m.

Final thoughts -- Ramblers deserve credit for battling back, but a better start to the game and they wouldn't have been in that position. Chalk it up to opening-night jitters, especially for Waye. Younger teams need lessons in learning how to win, sometimes by tasting defeat, and such was the case tonight.

jjewers@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Mariners, Maritime Junior A Hockey League

Geographic location: Yarmouth, OT, Bridgewater

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