Ramblers closing in on Bent basement

Jody Jewers
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AMHERST - The Ramblers are almost done digging that hole to the bottom of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League's Bent Division.
Amherst made it 11 straight road losses with a 5-2 setback yesterday afternoon on P.E.I. to the Summerside Western Capitals. On Saturday, the bordertowners were beaten 3-1 by the Bent Division-leading Truro Bearcats in the hub town.
The Ramblers are now fifth in the six-team Bent after the Yarmouth Mariners - who held a fire sale last month and are struggling to stay afloat financially - passed them on the weekend. The Halifax Lions are two points back of Amherst with seven games in hand.
When asked to summarize his team's performance on the weekend, Ramblers head coach and general manager Corey Crocker had this to say.
"We lost both games. I thought Saturday we were very good, and today we were terrible," Crocker said via cellphone from Summerside.
The Capitals jumped out to a 2-0 lead yesterday before Eric Boudreau got the visitors within a goal at 18:07 of the first period. Amherst's Jeremy Barron tied it on the power play 4:37 into the middle frame, but Summerside regained the lead a little more than two minutes later and never relinquished it.
Jon Waye made 44 saves in the Ramblers net. Amherst directed 29 shots at Summerside goalie Paul Dorsey.
On Saturday, Truro scored in each of the first two periods before Boudreau put Amherst on the board 6:49 into the third period with a power-play marker. The Bearcats iced the win on an empty-netter with 44 seconds remaining in regulation.
Waye steered aside 26 shots. Kirk Rafuse made 33 saves for Truro.
The Ramblers haven't won on the road since a 3-1 triumph in Campbellton on Oct. 23. Amherst has just one point this month in five starts, a 5-4 overtime loss to the Dieppe Commandos on Dec. 6, a game Amherst led 4-1 through 40 minutes.
After the Dieppe defeat, Crocker maintained the Ramblers organization had "major, major decisions to make." When asked where things stood in that regard, Crocker offered this.
"The (Jan. 10 roster) deadline is coming up, and our goal as a hockey team is to make it better," he said.
NOTES - The Ramblers are at home for their final two games before a two-week holiday break. Pictou County is in Friday at 7:30 p.m., and Halifax the next day at 7 p.m. ... Brandon Mercer and Kodi Estey were healthy scratches against Truro, as were Yohann Mathieu and Zach Carson versus Summerside.

jjewers@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Capitals, Maritime Junior A Hockey League, Bent Division Ramblers organization

Geographic location: Summerside, P.E.I., Campbellton Pictou County

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Recent comments

  • Shawanoswe
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    I am thinking about spending my money in Springhill, Blues are on 14 game winning streak!

  • jimmy
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    i agree i think its time to get rid of the coach is it just me or has attendence dropped year after year so has our standings look it up i did ever since hes been here the championship we won for our division most of the players were already here the year we had sweetland all we needed was a goaltender what did he do like he always does NOTHING leclerc was a back up thats allanyway by xmas well be where we should be last place

  • Ron
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    It is not Crocker or the coaches. It is the President. He needs to go.

  • Ram
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    The problem doesn't lie with the coach. In this case it is much deeper, down to the president. When he starts vetoing trades, he needs to go. He's so obsessed with keeping the team in the black that he is effecting the on ice product. No one wants the team to be in red, but Baker needs to realize that if the on ice product stinks you will be in the red. I think that it may be time for the president to step aside. I believe coach Crocker is doing a great job. He's actually been building a program, something the Ramblers have needed for a long time. The problem is, that he's being blocked by the executive. Crocker is the coach and GM and he needs to be able to execute those duties. When he's kept from doing that, what we have on the ice is what we get. Thanks President and executive.

  • who's da
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    ok where does the problem lie, hmmmmmmmmmm, maybe it's time for a change behind the bench, seems to be the only op they have not explored yet, crocker likes to blame everyone else, players , money, excec, wake up !

  • Jack on the rocks
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    I don't know how you can keep a team in the black when your main $$$ raising campaign lost $6-$7000 last year.And it is repeated again this year???50-50 draw,more like 37.5%(winner)37.5%(ramblers).Executive problem???