Ramblers will try again to beat Lions
AMHERST - Perhaps the third time will be the charm when the Ramblers face the Halifax Lions in Maritime Junior A Hockey League action today at 7 p.m., at the Halifax Forum.
Halifax has outscored Amherst 9-1 in two meetings this year. The Lions, the last-place team in the Bent Division, have six wins in 18 games this season - two of those at Amherst's expense.
"We're happy with the way our guys have been playing as of late," said Ramblers assistant coach Jeff Lewis. "But at the end of the day, it is the responsibility of the group to find a way to come out with some points."
These teams met a week ago in Halifax, with the Lions scoring twice in the first 10:41 en route to a 3-1 victory. The Ramblers had a better start in their next outing, holding period leads of 1-0 and 2-1 on the road against the Truro Bearcats before falling 3-2 on Dana Fraser's goal with 32.5 seconds left.
"That was a fun game," said Ramblers defenceman Eric Boudreau. "It was a game that brought out a lot of emotion on our bench, and it was good to see guys having fun out there.
"I'm not worried about (getting off to a good start). I think we've got the idea of what we have to do. It's just a matter of doing it all the time and not just once in a while."
"I think that was addressed in the game in Truro," he said. "We got off to a solid start, scored the first goal and carried that momentum through for the whole 60 minutes, and we'll be looking for that type of start again."
The Ramblers will be minus defenceman Wes Herrett, as he will be playing for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League tonight in Sydney against the Quebec Remparts. Lewis said forward Trevor Layton, who has missed the last three games while nursing a high ankle sprain, would be a game-time decision.
Head coach and general manager Corey Crocker is on a recruiting trip through Ontario and the U.S. Assistants John Carter and Tim Ripley will handle the bench duties.
The Lions are coming into the game shorthanded as well. Defenceman Ian Saab, who has also been called up to the Screaming Eagles, will serve the back end of his two-game suspension for a second fight on the same stoppage of play.
It's the first of a three-games-in-four-nights stretch for the Ramblers to round out November. Amherst is home to the Dieppe Commandos on Saturday at 7 p.m., at the Stadium, then heads to Yarmouth the next day to take on the Mariners at 7:30 p.m. The Ramblers record this month is 2-5.
OVERTIME - Ramblers affiliate Michael Clarke has been named to the Atlantic entry at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. The tournament runs Dec. 29-Jan. 4 in Timmins, Ont. Clarke, called up for two games with Amherst last month, has 13 goals and 26 points in 15 games for the Cole Harbour McCain major midgets this season.