Ramblers split weekend games

Jody Jewers
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AMHERST?- The Ramblers' Maritime Junior A Hockey League season is now down to single digits.
Amherst split a pair of home games, losing 6-0 to the Truro Bearcats on Friday before rebounding to shade the Summerside Western Capitals 5-4 in overtime the next night. The bordertowners have nine games left to make their push for a Bent Division playoff berth, while every other team in the division has at least a dozen games to go.
"We'll be looking at the scoreboard like everyone else is," said Ramblers head coach and general manager Corey Crocker. "But the big thing is now there's a different mindset in our dressing room, no matter what happens."
Amherst finishes the weekend two points up on the Yarmouth Mariners for the fifth and final postseason berth from the Bent. The Mariners knocked off Truro 3-1 last night in Yarmouth. The Halifax Lions and Bridgewater Lumberjacks are tied for third, four points ahead of Amherst, after Halifax's 3-2 triumph over Summerside in P.E.I., and Bridgewater's 6-1 loss at home to the Pictou County Weeks Crushers yesterday.
On Friday, the Ramblers played the Bent Division-leading Bearcats tough for two-and-a-half periods before the visitors scored three times in a span of 1:50 to salt the game away.
Amherst outshot Truro 39-30, but couldn't solve Richard Gagnon, who returned to the Bearcats earlier this month after playing junior B in Alberta to start the season. Jon Waye was pulled once it got to 5-0, making 23 saves. Devon Cudmore played the final 6:33.
On Saturday, Eric Boudreau's harmless-looking point shot fooled Capitals goaltender Paul Dorsey 93 seconds into the five-minute extra session.
The first line of Jeremy Barron, Justin Matthews and Brandon Street came back to life after getting shut down the night before. Matthews netted a hat trick to give him 20 goals on the season and picked up a helper on Barron's goal. Barron and Street added a pair of assists apiece.
Matthews has 19 points this month (10 goals, nine assists), Barron has 13 (six goals, and seven assists), and Street has 11 points in eight games since leaving the Victoriaville Tigres of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
"It was a team effort out there tonight," Matthews said Saturday. "It just happened that our line was the one that popped some goals in.
"We're starting to gel together and we seem to know where each other is one the ice all the time."
The Ramblers are poised to post a winning month for the first time since September, with a 5-4 record heading into their final game of January, this Saturday at home to the 6-28-2-2 Campbellton Tigers at 7 p.m.
"The boys don't want to give up," Matthews said. "Everyone in that dressing room wants to make the playoffs."
NOTES - Forward Shane O'Byrne sat out Friday's game with back spasms, and defenceman Brandon Mercer was given another day of rest after complaining of headaches. Mercer was elbowed in the head Jan. 15 in Bridgewater. Both returned to action the next night ... Forward Jonathan Pardy did not play Saturday with concussion-like symptoms, and could miss the Campbellton game ... Former Ramblers captain Adam Chipman, traded to the Crushers on Jan. 10, stopped by the Ramblers dressing room after Saturday's game. He was coming back from a trip to the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont., where he plans to enrol in the fall.

jjewers@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Royal Military College, Bent Division, Maritime Junior A Hockey League Mariners Barron's Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Geographic location: Bridgewater, Yarmouth, Summerside Pictou County Alberta Brandon Street Kingston

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  • Vince
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    Push forward with poise and pride towards a playoff spot. It is still possible and believe it or not 4th place is not impossible at this time. The team is definitely playing with a lot of heart.

    GO AMHERST RAMBLERS GO