Ramblers making push for the playoffs

Jody Jewers
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AMHERST - Beware the Ramblers.
Written off by some after trading captain Adam Chipman and alternate Derek Smith a week ago, the bordertowners are serving notice that they aren't going to go through the motions the rest of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League season.
Amherst won its second consecutive road game Friday, 8-4 over the Bridgewater Lumberjacks, and led for almost 45 minutes against the No. 7-ranked team in the country, the Woodstock Slammers, before succumbing 5-4 on Saturday at the Stadium.
The Ramblers' record in January is 4-3, their most wins in a month since a 5-0-0-1 September.
"People don't really see us as a threat any more," said defenceman Eric Boudreau. "They think we've lost our captain and our assistant captain, and we're just going to shut 'er down, and that's where part of our motivation comes from."
Another motivating factor is that this team is still in the race for a postseason berth. The Ramblers are tied with the Halifax Lions for fourth in the Bent Division following weekend action with 32 points, four back of third-place Bridgewater and two ahead of last-place Yarmouth. Halifax has six games in hand on Amherst, and Bridgewater and Yarmouth four apiece.
Newcomer Brandon Street getting paired with Justin Matthews and Jeremy Barron gives the Ramblers a bona fide No. 1 line. Barron has nine points in his last three games, and Matthews is having a tremendous month with 15 points in seven games. Street has nine points in six games with his new club.
"We fit really well together," said Barron.
"Brandon's really good with the puck and doesn't mind getting his nose dirty, I like distributing the puck but I'll shoot it, too, and Matty's a pure sniper, so if we can get him the puck, good things will happen."
That line piled up 13 points in Bridgewater. Matthews had a goal and four assists, Barron a hat trick and a helper, and Street and goal and three assists. Josh Coleman scored twice and Yohann Mathieu netted his first goal as a Rambler. Jon Waye made 36 saves for the win in goal.
On Saturday, Amherst held period leads of 2-1 and 4-3 before Woodstock scored twice in a 40-second span midway through the third.
Barron had a goal and two assists. Drew McLaughlin, Kody Orr and Scott Bragg also scored, and Matthews picked up a pair of helpers. Waye stopped 31 shots.
The Ramblers are in the middle of a four-game homestand. The Truro Bearcats visit the Stadium on Friday at 7:30 p.m., and the Summerside Western Capitals are in town the next night at 7 p.m.
OVERTIME - Bragg took a stick in the face from Woodstock's Branden Kosolofsky, and needed four stitches to close a gash near his mouth. He also cracked three teeth. Bragg had to have a plate and four screws inserted on either side of his jaw in September after being punched by Yarmouth's Dakota Johnson. Kosolofsky received a major penalty and game misconduct ... Defenceman Brandon Mercer received an elbow to the head Friday, and is out at least seven days with a concussion ... Forward Simon Bissonnette has missed the last three games with a groin injury.

jjewers@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Maritime Junior A Hockey League, Halifax Lions, Bent Division Summerside Western Capitals

Geographic location: Newcomer Brandon Street

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  • Ben
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    It's great that the Cool Blues are doing so well, but in case you did't notice Jimmy, this is an article about the Ramblers. I was at the games on Friday and Saturday in Amherst, and if you really think the Blues would stand a chance against the Rams then you must not be paying attention. I wish nothing but success to both teams in both their respective leagues.

  • Vince
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    Great win on Friday in Bridgewater. The team is starting to jell into a contender. The upcoming games will help decide a playoff berth.


    GO AMHERST RAMBLERS GO

  • devoted ram fan
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    jimmy from amherst...give it up man!!you are oviously a blues fan,great for you,leave the ramblers alone,no one can have a top team every year...lets see how the blues exc reacts when they dont have a top team,im sure there will be problems then.

  • Vince
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Ben Dover from (Economy) I also cheer on the Blues and Ramblers and wish success for both franchises. I missed both games on Friday and Saturday as I was in Bridgewater Friday night and in Barrington on Saturday. Great weekend of hockey viewing. Great to think positive about our two Cumberland County hockey teams.

  • jimmy
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    vince the last 20 games already decided the playoffs.did you and your buddy george happen to take in the blues game here friday.the blues win because there is no in fighting or back stabbers on that team exc how many have they won in a row now 16 17 .they would beat this ram team 8 out 10 games corey should take lessons on coaching a winner go blues go