AMHERST - A four-goal explosion lifted the Amherst Ramblers to a 5-3 win over the Yarmouth Mariners in Maritime Junior Hockey League playoff action here last night.
This gives the Ramblers a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Bent Division final series. Game 3 is Thursday in Yarmouth.
"That was an important win for us. The guys knew from the start that we had to go up 2-0 and keep the home-ice advantage that we fought so hard to get," Ramblers' coach Jim Bottomley said following the game. "It was a tight game, but the guys battled hard to kill off some penalties.We built on that."
Maxime Richard and Jordan Escott scored third period goals for Amherst to break a 3-3 tie after two periods.
The Mariners held a 3-1 lead in the second period on goals by Colin Campbell and Morgan Mullen, but Justin Matthews on a breakaway and Brandon Street on a wraparound tied the game late in the middle period.
"Both their goals came off the faceoff and it cost us. Other than that, we played a good game. From there it was a case of playing smart and go for the loose pucks," Bottomley said.
The Mariners were first on the board as Nick Booth scored on a long shot late in the first period.
Ramblers' goalie Richard Tingley struggled a bit on the first goal and was saved by a goalpost with the Mariners up 3-1, but he was outstanding in the final period.
"He was made a couple of big saves for us in the third period," Bottomley said.
Brandon MacLean tied the game briefly in the second when he scored on the power play 3:28 into the second.
Escott had three assists for the Ramblers while Mathieu Boudreau, Ben MacDonald, Ryan Matheson, Dylan Brake and MacLean adding assists.
"Jordan really stepped up his game when Cole (MacMillan) got thrown out in the first period. He really took responsibility," Bottomley said.
Escott said it was nice to contribute offensively.
"That was a huge win, we knew when we took the first game in Yarmouth that we had to win this one. It's a great feeling to come back the way we did," Escott said. "I knew I was getting chances and it was going to happen eventually."
Escott credited Brake for taking a huge hit to set up his third period goal.
"He chirped me a bit in the dressing room after the game that he did a back flip when he was hit. It was a big play. Sometimes you got to take the big hit to make play," Escott said.