Ramblers win another nailbiter

Jody Jewers
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AMHERST - The Ramblers are proving to be the latest version of the cardiac kids.
The purple-and-white played their third one-goal game in as many starts to begin the Maritime Junior A Hockey League season, allowing a 3-1 lead to evaporate, then holding on for a 4-3 decision over the Pictou County Weeks Crushers on Saturday at the Stadium.
This follows a 6-5 shootout loss to the Yarmouth Mariners a week ago in the home opener, a game in which the Ramblers trailed 3-0 in the first period, and a 5-4 overtime triumph the next night on the road against the Bridgewater Lumberjacks, where Amherst led 4-2 late in the third period.
"That's the funny thing about hockey. Anything can happen," Ramblers defenceman Drew McLaughlin said. "All you can do is take it, put it in the past and build on what's in the present."
The present so far has been five out of a possible six points and some character-building wins needed to inspire confidence in a young Ramblers squad.
"We definitely showed signs of a young team tonight," said Amherst head coach and general manager Corey Crocker.
"We slacked off a bit and that certainly wasn't part of the game plan. But we looked like a composed veteran team in the last minute-and-a-half or so and were able to close out the game and get the two points."
Goals from Scott Bragg, McLaughlin and Justin Matthews staked Amherst to a 3-1 lead 8:09 into the second period, but the Crushers knotted the game with a pair of goals 57 seconds apart early in the third.
Zach Carson, whose roughing minor gave Pictou County the power play that led to the first of those third-period goals, redeemed himself by ripping a slapshot past Crushers netminder Alex Drake at 8:04 for what proved to be the game-winner.
Jon Waye played the best game of his brief tenure as the Ramblers No. 1 goalie, shutting the door from there. The Ramblers were outshot 30-15 in the final two periods, and 36-27 overall. Ramblers captain Adam Chipman was shut down in the third period with flu-like symptoms. Defenceman Eric Boudreau (ankle) has yet to dress for a game this season.
The Ramblers play three games in three nights this week, Thursday and Friday in Yarmouth, and Saturday at home to Bridgewater at 7 p.m.

jjewers@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Maritime Junior A Hockey League

Geographic location: Pictou County, Yarmouth

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