Amherst two points out of playoff spot with three games left
AMHERST - The clock is ticking on the Ramblers' playoff hopes in the Maritime Junior A Hockey League.
Amherst couldn't pick up a point in back-to-back-to-back games on the weekend against two of the best the MJAHL has to offer.
The Truro Bearcats handed the bordertowners a 5-3 setback at the Stadium on Friday, the Miramichi Timberwolves scored five power-play goals in an 8-2 thumping of the hosts Saturday, and Truro edged Amherst 2-1 last night at Colchester Legion Stadium in the third game in 48 hours for both clubs.
The Ramblers remain two points behind the Yarmouth Mariners in the battle for the final Bent Division playoff berth. Both teams have three games remaining.
"Nothing's changed. We still have to win hockey games," Ramblers head coach and general manager Corey Crocker said from Truro. "We had a great effort tonight and a chance to win that game, but all we can do now is take care of the next one."
On Friday, Truro overcame a 3-1 first-period deficit, with Yuri Cheremetiev netting the game-winner with 7:32 to play. Simon Bissonnette, Justin Matthews and Ryan Matheson staked Amherst to the early lead. Jon Waye made 27 saves in defeat.
On Saturday, the Timberwolves converted five-of-seven power-play opportunities and coasted to the win, outshooting Amherst 29-10 over the final 40 minutes. Shane O'Byrne and Trevor Layton did the scoring for the hosts. Waye made 30 stops before being replaced by Devon Cudmore with 3:45 left in the third period.
On Sunday, Kody Orr spoiled the shutout bid with 13 seconds remaining in regulation. The Ramblers mustered just 15 shots. Waye was named the second star with a 37-save effort. Jordan Mock scored on a five-on-three in the second period for Truro, and Colin Beck made it 2-0 midway through the third.
Amherst hosts Campbellton this Saturday at the Stadium, then visits Pictou County on Feb. 23 before wrapping up the regular season at home to Truro on Feb. 27. Yarmouth has a road game with Bridgewater and home dates with Pictou County and Halifax left.
NOTES - The Ramblers lost forward Brandon Street to a shoulder injury in the second period Friday. Street missed the rest of the weekend, but Crocker said he should be ready to return against Campbellton ... Defenceman Ryan Matheson did not dress last night because of the flu ... Bissonnette's goal was his first since Jan. 5. Other Ramblers who ended scoring slumps on the weekend included O'Byrne (Jan. 9), Layton (Jan. 10) and Orr (Jan. 16).