AMHERST -- The Ramblers (11-15-0-1) dropped a 6-1 decision to the Woodstock Slammers (23-0-0-1) tonight in Maritime Junior A Hockey League action at the Stadium. Woodstock has now won 19 straight games.
It was the back end of a home-and-home between these clubs, with the Slammers prevailing 5-2 in Woodstock on Wednesday. The Ramblers have been outscored 21-5 in four meetings with the Slammers this season.
Following is the live blog transcript:
6:30 p.m. -- Teams out for the warmup. Newest Rambler Peter Baldwin is wearing No. 21, and it appears he has taken rookie forward Kodi Estey's spot in the lineup, as Estey is not out there for the home side. Ramblers are only dressing six defencemen, with Yohann Mathieu over rookie Brandon Mercer for the sixth spot.
Scratches for Woodstock are Matt Tomah, Tyler Gale and Chad Young.
Starting goalies are Jon Waye for Amherst and Andre Guay for Woodstock.
Referee tonight is Jason Blanchard.
7:03 p.m. -- Puck has dropped and we're underway. Baldwin out on the first line with former major midget teammate Adam Chipman and Jeremy Barron. Derek Smith and Eric Boudreau the usual first defensive pairing.
7:04 p.m. -- Other line combos for Amherst are Matthews-Bragg-Orr, Bissonnette-O'Neill-Layton, and Carson-O'Byrne-Coleman. Other defensive pairings are Matheson-McLaughlin and Mathieu-Herrett.
7:07 p.m. -- First penalty of the game goes to Woodstock's Josh Dadic for hooking at 2:32.
7:10 p.m. -- Baldwin getting some PP time out there too, with Orr and Bissonnette.
7:10 p.m. -- Man advantage is over, as Kody Orr is called for slashing with 10 seconds to go in the Dadic minor. Woodstock has a lethal power play, at 24.4 per cent.
7:13 p.m. -- Some great penalty killing work by Derek Smith, as Woodstock can't get set up in the Amherst end.
7:13 p.m. -- Penalty over. Solid kill by Amherst, with zero shots on goal by the Slammers.
7:15 p.m. -- Waye with his first big save of the evening, thwarting Branden Kosolofsky on the doorstep after a beautiful tape-to-tape cross-ice feed from Brogan Bailey. It sets up a two-on-one at the other end, but the puck is rolling on Adam Chipman, and he can't get a shot off.
7:18 p.m. -- Amherst with its second power play chance, as Bradley Greene will sit for hooking at 9:25.
7:20 p.m. -- Good hustle by Drew McLaughlin to keep the puck in the Woodstock zone, leading to a shot on goal that Guay holds on to for a whistle.
7:21 p.m. -- Scott Bragg, meet Brad Tesink. The five-foot-nine Bragg bounced off the six-foot-four Tesink while trying to carry the puck over the Woodstock blueline instead of dumping it in.
7:22 p.m. -- Penalty over.
7:23 p.m. -- 7:30 left in the first. Shots 9-8 Amherst.
7:24 p.m. -- Pushing and shoving after the whistle in the Ramblers zone results in Amherst's third chance with the extra man, as Brogan Bailey goes for roughing at 12:38.
7:26 p.m. -- Jeremy Barron has had several giveways in the Woodstock zone while on the PP -- not what you're looking for from your team's leading scorer.
7:27 p.m. -- Penalty over. Ramblers couldn't get anything going there.
7:28 p.m. -- Slammers with some good pressure, and Simon Bissonnette has to ice the puck to get a line change.
7:29 p.m. -- Woodstock is on the board, as Mitch Flynn's point shot got through a maze of sticks and past Waye at 16:08. Assists to Sean Stagles and Bradley Greene. Not a particularly hard shot, but it might've been tipped by a Rambler defender. 1-0 Slammers
7:31 p.m. -- And now the Slammers are on the PP, with Jeremy Barron chopping a Woodstock defender in the Slammers zone at 16:48.
7:33 p.m. -- Ramblers have killed another minor. Justin Matthews with a nifty dangle at the other end, but can't keep a rolling puck on his stick.
7:34 p.m. -- In the final minute now.
7:35 p.m. -- Period over. Shots 13-9 Woodstock.
After 20 minutes -- Ramblers skated with the Slammers, but didn't convert their chances on the PP, and Woodstock , as most teams do when they're on such a big roll, got the lucky bounce on Flynn's goal. Amherst doing a great job on the PK so far.
Second period delayed a couple of minutes, as the Ramblers Alumni Scholarship Society is presenting $1,000 bursaries to Trevor Layton, Jon Waye and Justin Matthews.
7:55 p.m. -- Second period has begun.
7:58 p.m. -- Some good work by the fourth line of Carson-O'Byrne-Coleman in the Woodstock zone, getting a shot on goal and a faceoff in the Slammers zone.
7:59 p.m. -- Bradley Greene cross-checks a Rambler from behind at 2:50, so off he goes.
8:01 p.m. -- Bragg and Tesink collide again, but this time Bragg manages to rattle the big guy a bit.
8:02 p.m. --Penalty over. Ramblers are only going to get so many chances against this team, and need to start capitalizing. Woodstock really hasn't shown much jump out there, and you get the sense that if they can find that extra gear, they can take over this game.
8:05 p.m. -- Burke D'Souza knocked down as an offside call is made, and that draws a crowd, with Yohann Matthieu throwing a punch during the scrum. He goes for roughing after the whistle at 6:02.
8:07 p.m. -- Love how Woodstock works its PP. Two or three passes max around the perimeter, make the defence collapse, then either shoot and look for a rebound or pass to an open man at the point or slot for a scoring chance. Little wasted motion.
8:09 p.m. -- Penalty over. Ramblers keeping up the good work while shorthanded, as they had a two-on-one near the end of the Mathieu minor.
8:12 p.m. -- Trevor Layton gets his stick up on Brad Tesink in the corner, and Blanchard catches him at 9:33.
8:13 p.m. -- Ramblers bench complains the faceoff after the Layton call should've been outside the Amherst zone, since that's where the puck was touched to stop play, but Blanchard puts it inside the zone, and the Slammers score nine seconds into the PP, as Waye can't stop Nick Huard's one-timer at 9:42. Assists to Sean Stagles and and Mitch Flynn. 2-0 Slammers
8:14 p.m. -- Shane O'Byrne challenging Sean Stagles to drop the gloves, but he doesn't.
8:17 p.m. -- Jeremy Barron with a one-timer from the hashmarks that sails well wide.
8:17 p.m. -- Slammers have increased their lead on a blue-collar goal with several dark sweaters crashing the crease at 11:39. Brogan Bailey with the goal, from Branden Kosolofsky and Andrew Langan. 3-0 Slammers
8:18 p.m. -- Woodstock pouring it on now, as they've found that extra gear.
8:20 p.m. -- Amherst with its fifth PP chance, as Michael Best is whistled for roughing after the whistle at 12:51. Ramblers need the next goal in a bad way.
8:23 p.m. -- Penalty over. Ramblers aren't putting pucks at the net.
8:25 p.m. -- Woodstock scores again. Scott Bragg was going to be called for a late hit on Sean Stagles, and with the extra attacker on the ice. Mitch Flynn finishes off a three-way passing play from Josh Dadic and Brenden Kosolofsky at 15:32. 4-0 Slammers
8:29 p.m. -- 2:10 left in the period. Faceoff to Waye's left.
8:30 p.m. -- Ramblers get a lucky one, as Kody Orr's harmless-looking low shot from a bad angle somehow manages to get between Andre Guay's pad and the near post at 18:01. Boy, did Amherst need that. Assists to Scott Bragg and Justin Matthews. 4-1 Slammers
8:31 p.m. -- Final minute.
8:32 p.m. -- Any momentum the Ramblers had is short-lived, as Andrew Langan's bullet from the top of the circle beats Waye clean on the glove side with 53.6 seconds left. Assists to Brogan Bailey and Jesse Hebscher. 5-1 Slammers
8:33 p.m. -- Period over. Shots 13-8 Woodstock in the second, 26-17 Slammers through two.
After 40 minutes -- This game is over and everyone in the stands and on the ice knows it. Too bad, because the Ramblers were staying with the Slammers for the better part of 30 minutes, but the door was opened just a crack thanks to a missed faceoff position, and Woodstock broke it down and kept on coming. Other than Guay's gaffe, the Slammers have played mistake-free hockey defensively, and once they start to turn it up on offence, there's simply no stopping them.
Amherst heads to Dieppe tomorrow for a 2:30 p.m., start, so the home side still needs to put together a solid final 20 minutes to take something positive out of this.
8:50 p.m. -- Devon Cudmore in goal for Amherst to start the third period. Good call -- though Waye wasn't playing particularly poorly, it sends the message to the players that they have to work that much harder to take the pressure off a 16-year-old rookie netminder.
8:55 p.m. -- No whistles yet and we're five minutes in. Slammers know it's over and are trying to move things along as quickly as possible.
8:56 p.m. -- Mitchell O'Neill rings a shot off the crossbar. Ramblers getting some decent pressure in the Woodstock end, which is good to see.
8:57 p.m. -- First whistle of the period is blown at 5:58 to call a penalty, as Woodstock's Brad Tesink goes for hooking.
9 p.m. -- Penalty over. Ramblers with some good pressure, but as has been the case all year, they lack a finishing touch around the net.
9:02 p.m. -- Guay covers up on Adam Chipman's wrister from the slot. 10:26 to go.
9:03 p.m. -- Shane O'Byrne tangled up with a Woodstock defender well behind the play, and O'Byrne called for interference at 10:27.
9:06 p.m. -- Cudmore with a nice pad save as the final seconds tick off in the O'Byrne minor.
9:09 p.m. -- 5:23 to go. Shots 6-4 Amherst this period.
9:11 p.m. -- 3:57 left. Faceoff to Cudmore's right.
9:12 p.m. -- Cudmore solid again, as he kicks out the left pad on a tip-in attempt.
9:14 p.m. -- Nicholas Tremere's point shot sneaks by Cudmore at 18:02. Assists to Michael Best and Bradley Greene. 6-1 Slammers
9:16 p.m. -- One minute to go.
9:16 p.m. -- Cudmore bowled over in the crease, and Colton Stairs, a major midget call-up wearing a full cage, is called for interference with 46.6 seconds left.
9:18 p.m. -- Game over. Shots 8-6 Amherst in the third period, 32-25 Woodstock for the game.
Three stars -- 1. Mitch Flynn, Woodstock; 2. Brogan Bailey, Woodstock; 3. Scott Bragg, Amherst. Bragg played well tonight, but thought Bradley Greene should've been star No. 3.
Final thoughts -- Full credit to the Ramblers coaches for making sure the third period didn't descend into nonsense and emphasizing the need to keep skating with the Slammers, and Amherst played disciplined, responsible defence in front of Cudmore. But it should have been made obvious to the Rambler faithful in attendance just how far their team is from being considered championship calibre. Anyone who can still think otherwise after watching this game is simply fooling themselves.
Ramblers are in Dieppe to play the Commandos on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Technology and weather forecast permitting, a live blog will be available of that game on amherstdaily.com.