Ramblers wrap up October on positive note

Jody Jewers
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AMHERST - The Ramblers biggest scare on Halloween night was briefly contemplating life without their captain.
Adam Chipman was doubled over in pain midway through the second period of Saturday's Maritime Junior A Hockey League contest against the Miramichi Timberwolves after being hit in the Miramichi end of the rink. His left arm hanging limp, Chipman went back to the bench, but was able to do up his chin strap with his sore limb and come out for one more shift before heading to the dressing room.
Chipman not only came back out to start the third, but scored the tying goal mere moments after Miramichi had killed a five-minute power play then scored to take the lead, but also assisted on the game-winner as the Ramblers took some momentum out of a subpar month with a 3-2 victory.
"I got back out there and I wanted to lead these guys," said Chipman, who was in on all three of his team's goals and a no-brainer as the game's first star.
"I just got the bounces, I guess."
Bounces have not gone the Ramblers way recently. After earning 11 of a possible 12 points to start the season, Amherst puts a 3-6 record for October into the rear view mirror, during which the Ramblers did not score more than three goals in a game.
"We don't have an abundance of skill, and our skill guys are also gritty," said Ramblers head coach and general manager Corey Crocker. "There's no substitute for hard work, and hard work is what will win us hockey games."
An effort like the one Jon Waye put forth in the Ramblers net won't hurt, either. Waye is coming into his own as the undisputed No. 1 goalie, and made 36 saves to lower his goals-against average to 2.96 and up his record to 7-4-0-1, with a tidy .911 save percentage. He was named the game's second star.
"Jon was fantastic tonight," said Crocker. "We didn't deserve to win that game, but we did and he was a big reason for that."
Simon Bissonnette and Josh Coleman are doing their part to address the Ramblers' offensive woes. Bissonnette went hard to the net to tip in a Drew McLaughlin pass for the game's first goal, and has three points in his last two games. Coleman potted the game-winner with 3:57 left in regulation, his second goal in as many starts.
Despite the rough month, the Ramblers are a game over .500 at 8-6-0-1 as the calendar turns to November. Amherst plays half of its 10 games this month against teams with losing records, but is on the road for six of its last eight contests after back-to-back home games this week.
The Ramblers will also get their first look at the Bent Division-leading Truro Bearcats, who provide the opposition Friday at 7:30 p.m., at the Stadium. Truro, which knocked Amherst out of the playoffs last year, has taken command of the Bent with a sterling 11-1-1-0 record.
"We talked before the game tonight about wanting to finish the month off strong," said Chipman. "Hopefully a win like this against a very good team in Miramichi will be the start of a good run for us."

jjewers@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Maritime Junior A Hockey League, Bent Division

Geographic location: Miramichi

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