AMHERST - A high-flying start for the Amherst Junior Ramblers led to a 6-3 victory over the Yarmouth Mariners in Maritime Junior A Hockey League here Saturday night.
The Ramblers scored early and often in the first period, beginning with one of two goals from Ben MacDonald at 2:58, followed by a goal from Brandon Street just 17 seconds later. MacDonald scored his second goal shorthanded, on a knuckleball from the opposite blueline at 10:53, chasing Yarmouth goalie Charles Grant from the game.
The Mariners came within a goal in the second period, but the Ramblers scored two more to put the game out of reach. Also scoring for Amherst were Mathieu Boudreau, Justin Matthews and Ryan Matheson. Mathieu Pompei, Colin Campbell and Ryan Nickerson scored for Yarmouth.
Amherst coach Jim Bottomley said he was happy with his team's performance.
"It was a great team effort out there," said Bottomley. "I'm very pleased with the way they came to play tonight. They did the little things that made a difference throughout the game."
Kody Blois stopped 34 of 37 for the home team, while Chase Gaudet stopped 30 of 33 for Yarmouth after replacing Grant midway through the first frame.
Amherst went two for five on its power play, but suffered slightly on the penalty kill, with all three Yarmouth goals coming on the man advantage. Special teams were not a great worry for the coach, however.
"We had a couple little assignments we didn't do on our penalty kill, but overall we've been very successful in killing penalties," said Bottomley. "Those (goals) are going to happen."
With the Mariners coming in to Amherst after a tough 2-1 loss to the mighty Woodstock Slammers Friday night, it was part of the Ramblers' strategy to play them hard early, according to the coach.
"We went through it, playing in Woodstock and then coming back here to play... it takes a lot out of you," said Bottomley. "If we could get an early jump we thought we could do some early damage on them, but they never quit. They keep coming at you and it made for a good game."
Now Amherst has to wear those shoes, as they head to Truro Sunday night for the second of their own back-to-back games.