Ramblers lose heartbreaker

Jody Jewers
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TRURO - The Ramblers road woes continued Saturday, as Dana Fraser's highlight-reel goal with 32.5 seconds left in the third period snatched more points from the bordertown bunch, giving the host Bearcats a 3-2 victory in Maritime Junior A Hockey League action in front of 791 fans at Colchester Legion Stadium.
Amherst has lost its last five away games against Bent Division opposition, six of its last eight and 11 of its last 16 contests. The Ramblers earned 11 of a possible 12 points to start the season, but have only 10 points to show for their efforts since.
"It would've been nice to get at least one point out of it. I thought we deserved at least that the way we played tonight," said rookie Ramblers forward Kodi Estey. "But we've got to forget about it and move on."
Fraser fended off a checker inside the Amherst zone with one arm and steered the puck across goalie Jon Waye's crease while holding on to his stick with the other, making Waye commit before going top shelf for the victory.
Amherst held period leads of 1-0 and 2-1, with Justin Matthews opening scoring on the power play 5:52 after the opening faceoff and Shane O'Byrne going hard to the net to bang in a rebound with 40.8 seconds to go in the second frame.
The Ramblers displayed much of the effort that translated into a 4-3 win over Truro on Nov. 6, only the second loss in regulation dealt to the Bearcats this season.
"Anybody that's played this game for any period of time or coached this game for any period of time, that's not the first time this has happened to them," said Ramblers assistant coach John Carter, who manned the bench with Tim Ripley, with head coach and general manager Corey Crocker scouting talent at the Monctonian midget tournament on the weekend. "The effort was great. Our kids played about as hard as they could play.
"We like to play them. There's obviously a rivalry between us and them. We're certainly not intimidated by them. Their record doesn't mean a whole lot to us when we step on the ice with them."
Waye made 26 saves and was named the game's second star.
NOTES - Scott Bragg assisted on O'Byrne's goal, giving him five points in his last four games ... Matthews took over the team lead in goals with his ninth of the season. He has a point in each of his last three games ... Trevor Layton sat out his third straight game, nursing a high ankle sprain. Brandon Mercer was moved up to forward ... The Ramblers visit the Halifax Lions on Thursday at 7 p.m.

jjewers@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Maritime Junior A Hockey League, Halifax Lions

Geographic location: Colchester Legion Stadium

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