Ramblers look to continue solid start

Jody Jewers
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AMHERST - Jeremy Barron is on pace for a 250-point campaign, but he'd settle for a little less than that.
The Ramblers forward has five points in his club's first two Maritime Junior A Hockey League games this season. In his rookie year of 2008-09, the Paradise, N.L., native amassed 10 goals and 23 points in 44 contests.
"I worked hard over the summer, and it being my second year, it's a bit easier knowing what to expect having been through it before," the 19-year-old Barron said.
"I definitely want to put better numbers up this year. Consistency has been something I've struggled with pretty much my whole career in hockey, and hopefully I can be better in that area this year."
It's early, but it seems the Ramblers have addressed the concern of who would provide the offence following the graduation of forwards Matthew Squires, Travis Turner, Adam Verrette and Paul Roebothan, who combined for 93 of the team's 193 goals a season ago.
The Ramblers' 10 goals in two games have come from eight different players, and 11 players have registered at least one point.
"We have 13 good forwards on this team, and they all have some offensive upside," said Barron. "We all can produce - that's why the team was picked this way."
Head coach and general manager Corey Crocker concurs.
"We've definitely gotten to the point on this team where we can roll four lines," he said. "It's a good blend of rookies playing with veterans that gives us more balance and allows us to be fresher every shift.
"If need be, we can cut down on our lines and go with a more veteran presence, but so far, our younger guys have been able to keep up."
The Ramblers have needed the increased offensive output, having had to come back from a 3-0 deficit in the season-opener against the Yarmouth Mariners to salvage a point in a 6-5 shootout loss, then surrendering two late third-period goals before scoring in overtime to edge the Bridgewater Lumberjacks 5-4 the following night.
"We're really not in the position to be doing much tweaking at this point," Crocker said.
"We're still implementing systems and team tactics, especially playing away from the puck, and it takes time for everyone to get comfortable in their roles."
Barron's improvement has also not gone unnoticed.
"He came into camp in tremendous shape," Crocker said. "Our goal is to keep him in top shape and to keep him motivated all year.
"He knows how to play in the offensive zone and is very gifted, but sometimes it takes time to figure how just how good you can be and what it takes to do that, and hopefully he's done so."
The Ramblers are back on home ice Saturday against the Pictou County Weeks Crushers. Game time at the Stadium is 7 p.m.

jjewers@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Barron's

Geographic location: Pictou County

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Recent comments

  • Vince
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    great to see the new and younger players fitting in with the older more seasoned fellows. In my opinion, I believe the RAMBLERS are a team to be
    reckoned with this season. Hope the fans
    come out and support this great team.

    GO RAMBLERS GO