AMHERST -- The Ramblers defeated the Bridgewater Lumberjacks 4-2 in Maritime Junior A Hockey League action tonight at the Stadium, completing a sweep of three games in three days and an impressive September in which Amherst earned 11 of a possible 12 points.
Following is the webcast transcript:
6:45 p.m. -- Scratches for Amherst are Jonathan Pardy (shoulder), Scott Bragg (suspended, broken jaw) and Greg Taylor (healthy). Bridgewater is minus team captain Jeff Marchand (suspended two games for spitting).
Bragg had surgery in Halifax to fix his jaw, broken during Thursday's 6-3 victory in Yarmouth, and is expected to be released from hospital Sunday. According to Ramblers head coach/general manager Corey Crocker, Bragg did not have to have his jaw wired shut and could be back within three to four weeks. Yarmouth's Dakota Johnson has been suspended indefinitely pending a league review of the incident. Bragg served the final game of his suspension for spearing, which precipitated the incident with Johnson on Thursday, tonight.
Lumberjacks tough guy Anthony Pisano, all six-foot-six and 245 pounds of him, is dressed tonight.
Starting goalies are Jon Waye for Amherst and Travis Hall for Bridgewater.
The referee is Kevin Arsenault.
7:04 p.m. -- Puck has dropped and we're underway.
7:06 p.m. -- Ramblers line combinations are Bissonnette-Orr-Coleman, Barron-Chipman-O'Byrne, O'Neill-Estey-Mercer (at forward for Bragg), and Carson-Matthews-Layton.
7:09 p.m. -- Ramblers defensive parings are Matheson-McLaughlin, Mathieu-Herrett and Smith-Boudreau.
7:12 p.m. -- First penalty of the game goes to Amherst's Jeremy Barron for interference at 5:15.
7:15 p.m. -- Penalty over. Lumberjacks with just one shot on goal during the PP, and it wasn't a tough one for Waye to stop.
7:19 p.m. -- 10:13 left in the first, shots are 8-5 Amherst. Pretty non-descript start to this one. Ramblers haven't gotten out of first gear against a bigger but slower bunch of Lumberjacks.
7:23 p.m. -- 6:54 remaining in the first. Ramblers just don't have much jump out there, and would be paying a stiffer price against a more skilled offensive club.
7:24 p.m. -- Ramblers' Yohann Mathieu gets careless with the lumber and goes off for high-sticking at 14:03.
7:27 p.m. -- Ramblers kill another PP. Bridgewater point men just can't find the net.
7:30 p.m. -- Ramblers are on the board. Trevor Layton creates a turnover in the Bridgewater zone and feeds Justin Matthews, inexplicably left all alone within 10 feet of the Lumberjacks net. Matthews goes glove side at 18:24. 1-0 Ramblers.
7:32 p.m. -- Four seconds after Bridgewater's Sam MacCormack is sent off for hooking, Ramblers' defenceman Eric Boudreau's point shot gets by a maze of people and finds the twine at 19:14. Assists to Derek Smith and Justin Matthews. 2-0 Ramblers.
7:34 p.m. -- First period over. Shots 12-7 for Amherst.
After 20 minutes -- The Lumberjacks should be getting raked over the coals by Jimbo after that display. Down 2-0 and only seven shots on goal, including two power plays, to a team playing for the third time in 48 hours is not something to be proud of. Ramblers are definitely tired, as the coaches are keeping the shifts short, but a late flurry has them in the drivers' seat. Amherst clearly with more skill, but lacking in energy coming off two games in Yarmouth.
7:49 p.m. -- Second period has begun.
7:50 p.m. -- The Matthews-Layton-Carson line continues to hold the hot hand for the hosts. Matthews had a solid chance on a two-on-one but his shot sailed over top of the net.
7:50 p.m. -- Amherst's Trevor Layton gets two for cross-checking at 1:40.
7:54 p.m. -- Ramblers' Justin Matthews and Mitchell Hare of Bridgewater exchange pleasantries after a whistle and will sit two apiece for unsportsmanlike conduct at 3:37.
7:55 p.m. -- Amherst on the PP, as RD Chisholm of the Lumberjacks goes off for hooking at 4:25.
7:57 p.m. -- Ramblers' special teams click again. Simon Bissonnette barrels through some shoddy Bridgewater backchecking and beats Hall on the blocker side at 5:31. Assists to Eric Boudreau and Josh Coleman. 3-0 Ramblers.
7:59 p.m. -- Amherst's Yohann Mathieu with a second undisciplined penalty, going off for tripping at 6:47.
8:01 p.m. -- Ramblers' rookie Mitchell O'Neill has blocked a plethora of point shots, and slid across the crease to rob a Bridgewater attacker in close with Waye down and out.
8:02 p.m. -- Penalties following a scrum have Adam Chipman and Mitchell O'Neill off for Amherst, and Scott Theriault for Bridgewater at 7:57. Penalties are offsetting, Theriault a double-minor for spearing, Chipman for unsportsmanlike and O'Neill for roughing.
8:03 p.m. -- Lumberjacks on the board at 8:03. Mickey MacDonald left unchecked at the side of the net, from RD Chisholm and Mike Snow. 3-1 Ramblers.
8:05 p.m. -- More penalty trouble for the Ramblers. Trevor Layton gets two for interference at 8:47.
8:08 p.m. -- Ramblers kill off the PP. Lumberjacks playing with more of a sense of urgency now.
8:11 p.m. -- 7:26 to go in the second. Shots in the period are 7-4 Bridgewater, and 16-14 for the game.
8:16 p.m. -- 3:58 to go in the second. Pace has settled back down.
8:17 p.m. -- Another great shift from the Matthews line. Carson was robbed on a one-timer and should've drawn a penalty when he was hauled down on a one-on-two.
8:18 p.m. -- Kody Orr restores the three-goal cushion at 17:08 as his wrister gets by a screened Hall. Josh Coleman and Eric Boudreau with the assists. 4-1 Ramblers.
8:20 p.m. -- Ramblers captain Adam Chipman doesn't take too kindly to getting drilled from behind by the Lumberjacks' Sam MacCormack, and wrestles him to the ice at 17:46. MacCormack gets two for checking from behind, five for fighting plus a game misconduct, Mickey MacDonald of Bridgewater gets a 10-minute misconduct. Chipman gets five for fighting, two for the instigator and a 10-minute misconduct on top of that, so everything offsets.
8:26 p.m. -- In the final minute of the second now.
8:27 p.m. -- Second period is over. Shots 10-9 Bridgewater in the frame, 21-17 Amherst overall.
After 40 minutes -- Ramblers in full control of this game, only giving the Lumberjacks some life when in the penalty box. And the penalties the Ramblers are taking are ones you would see a tired team take -- stick infractions because they're a step slower, interference because they can't keep up with their man away from the puck, etc. Chipman deserved a better fate than 17 minutes in penalties after being checked from behind.
8:44 p.m. -- Third period has started. Ramblers 20 minutes away from a six-point week.
8:48 p.m. -- Ramblers doing some line-juggling with Chipman sitting down. Matthews and Layton now with Bissonnette. Orr with O'Neill and Coleman. O'Byrne with Estey and Mercer.
8:51 p.m. -- Ramblers Brandon Mercer punches Bridgewater's Chad Davis in the snout during a post-whistle scrum, and Davis drops the gloves, ready to go, but they are separated quickly by the linesmen.They receive coincidental minors at 5:19.
8:55 p.m. -- Bad giveaway by Yohann Mathieu in the Ramblers zone and the Lumberjacks are within two at 8:04. Matt Shannon with the goal from Adam Cann. Mathieu not having a night to remember tonight. 4-2 Ramblers.
8:57 p.m. -- 10:42 to go, shots 4-0 Bridgewater in the period. Ramblers are hoping four goals will be enough, and are in full 1-2-2 trap mode.
8:59 p.m. -- Clear example of the above statement about four goals being enough -- Ramblers with a chance for a four-on-two, but two white jerseys drop out of the rush and all they get is a weak wrister straight into Hall's chest. Ramblers are exhausted and can't wait for the clock to hit 0:00.
9:01 p.m. -- Bridgewater's RD Chisholm takes a really ill-timed penalty for tripping at 12:03, and the Ramblers can kill some clock on the PP.
9:04 p.m. -- Penalty over. Ramblers with a couple of chances late in the PP, but it's all about winding down the clock now.
9:05 p.m. -- Adam Chipman finally out of the penalty box, and goes directly on the ice, as he is easily the most rested Rambler out there.
9:07 p.m. -- Chipman belting anything that moves in a dark jersey, including heavyweight king Pisano.
9:09 p.m. -- Chipman with all kinds of energy, delivering a solid blow along the boards. 1:48 to go.
9:11 p.m. -- Final minute of regulation.
9:12 p.m. -- 22.2 seconds to go. Faceoff to Waye's left. Bridgewater's net is empty.
9:13 p.m. -- Ryan Matheson of Amherst penalized for tripping at 19:46.
9:14 p.m. -- Bridgewater's Matt Snow also gets two for tripping at 19:54.
9:15 p.m. -- Game over. 4-2 Ramblers. Shots 11-4 Lumberjacks in the third, 28-25 Bridgewater for the game.
Three stars -- 1. Justin Matthews, Amherst; 2. Kody Orr, Amherst; 3. Eric Boudreau, Amherst. (Boudreau should've been 2 and a case could've been made for O'Neill at 3, but Orr played a solid game as well).
Final thoughts -- The Ramblers complete the sweep with possibly their most satisfying win of the season. On fumes most of the contest, the offence capitalized on the PP and the Ramblers played responsible team defence, outclassing a one-dimensional Bridgewater team with plenty of size, but lacking any real credible threat offensively.