Amherst 1-5 after winning five of six in September
AMHERST - All the classic signs of a slump have crept into Ramblerland.
The bordertowners played without an entire forward line in Friday's 5-2 Maritime Junior A Hockey League loss to the Meek Division-leading Woodstock Slammers, then threw everything but the kitchen sink at Yarmouth Mariners goaltender Justin Collier but couldn't solve him in a 1-0 loss the next night at the Stadium.
Amherst has fallen back to the .500 mark after a sterling September start in which the club went 5-0-0-1.
"That was, by far, one of our better games this season," Ramblers head coach and general manager Corey Crocker said after Saturday's contest.
"We came out on the losing end, but we kept it positive in the dressing room afterward. There was nothing more we could do tonight."
Amherst directed 51 shots at Collier, including 20 in the second period. The only goal came when Yarmouth's Rejean Deveau caught Ramblers goalie Jon Waye coming across his crease a split second too late and buried a pass from David Wilband at 14:03 of the second period.
"That's the most shots we've had in a game all year," said Ramblers captain Adam Chipman, who was whistled for a high-sticking call with 43.9 seconds left in regulation and Waye on the bench for an extra attacker. "We played really hard.
"We've hit a little bump, I guess, but we're going to bounce back."
On Friday, the Ramblers were minus forwards Simon Bissonnette, Zach Carson and Josh Coleman in a 5-2 setback to the Slammers, all serving suspensions.
Amherst trailed by four goals before Jeremy Barron put his team on the scoreboard with a power-play goal 16:14 into the middle frame. Derek Smith got the visitors as close as 4-2 at 8:25 of the third. Devon Cudmore got the start in goal and was peppered with 50 shots, 25 in the second period.
The Ramblers recorded 29 goals in September, and never had fewer than four in any of their six games. In six games this month, the Ramblers have just eight goals and have been shut out twice. Three of their top pointgetters are defencemen.
"Obviously, we'd like to get more scoring depth," Crocker said Saturday. "But if we keep working like we did tonight, we're going to win a lot more hockey games than we're going to lose."
OVERTIME?- Forward Scott Bragg dressed but did not see any action Saturday. Bragg has a doctor's appointment Wednesday to look at his broken jaw, which needed a plate and four screws inserted on either side after being punched Sept. 24 by Mariners defenceman Dakota Johnson. Forward Jonathan Pardy (shoulder) and defenceman Brandon Mercer (hip) are also on the injured list ... The Ramblers sent the rights to defenceman Rob McEwan to the Summerside Western Capitals on Saturday in exchange for the rights to forward Brandon Street plus future considerations. McEwan was designated for assignment by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Saint John Sea Dogs on Saturday, and played for the Capitals in an 8-2 win over the Dieppe Commandos yesterday. Street has six points in 14 games with the QMJHL's P.E.I. Rocket this season ... Amherst plays its next three games on the road, heading to Campbellton this Friday, Miramichi the next night, and Pictou County on Oct. 29.