Ramblers get reality check at showcase

Jody Jewers
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SUMMERSIDE - It wasn't the showcase the Ramblers were hoping to put on.
Amherst, riding a five-game winning streak and a top-15 ranking in Canada, left P.E.I. without a point in the Maritime Junior A Hockey League's fourth annual showcase weekend.
The Ramblers couldn't beat a Yarmouth Mariners squad playing its third game in three nights on the road - a team Amherst beat convincingly twice a week ago in Yarmouth - losing 3-1 on Saturday, and was overpowered 5-0 by the Woodstock Slammers, a team expected to challenge for a MJAHL?title this season, on Sunday afternoon.
"No one's happy," Ramblers captain Adam Chipman said. "The showcase is a big event, and losing two games in two nights is very disappointing."
"We are a better team than Yarmouth. And yes, Woodstock was better than us today, but when we work together as a team, we can be better than them, too."
The Ramblers offence, which had generated 28 goals in six games, was shut out for the final 78:53 of the weekend. Eric Boudreau's power-play marker late in the first 25-minute period staked Amherst to a 1-0 lead over Yarmouth.
Devon Cudmore made the second start of his junior A career Saturday, making 16 saves. Jonathan Waye was in goal Sunday, stopping 30 shots.
Ramblers head coach and general manager Corey Crocker was not mincing words Sunday.
"We got humbled," Crocker said. "It was Yarmouth's third game in three nights and our guys thought it would be an easy win and it didn't happen, and against Woodstock, we just got beat by a better team.
"We're still near the top of our division and we've earned that, but we have to be a better team going forward, and if a lot of these players don't realize that, then they won't be Ramblers any more."
One player that isn't a Rambler any more is rookie defenceman Greg Taylor, who has returned home to Carbonear, N.L., because of education-related issues. Forward Simon Bissonnette did not play Sunday because of injury, and Crocker hopes to have him back for a two-game homestand beginning Friday against the Summerside Western Capitals at 7:30 p.m. The Ramblers host the Pictou County Weeks Crushers the next night at 7 p.m.
Maritime league president Derryl Smith met with Yarmouth defenceman Dakota Johnson during the showcase weekend to hear his side of the story following the Sept. 24 game against Amherst where he punched Ramblers forward Scott Bragg in retaliation for Bragg's spear of a Yarmouth player, breaking Bragg's jaw. Smith said a final decision on the length of the suspension would be determined today. Johnson has been suspended indefinitely pending a ruling and has sat out Yarmouth's last five games.
Bragg has served his two-game suspension for the spear, and will be sidelined for at least a month.

jjewers@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Maritime Junior A Hockey League, Summerside Western Capitals

Geographic location: Yarmouth, Amherst, SUMMERSIDE Canada P.E.I. Carbonear Pictou County

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  • Vince
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    Not exactly the way I expected, however
    the coach will have them working on the
    little things and fine tuning the big things.
    It may be a humbling experience, however it does show their weaknesses.
    Having said that I must say that we need
    lot's of fans for the upcoming two games at home. Should be good exciting hockey.

    Thank you

    GO RAMBLERS GO