AMHERST – The Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers hosted a tense game Saturday night against the Dieppe Commandos in Maritime Hockey League action. The Ramblers tied the game with only seconds to spare before winning the game 6-5 in the shootout.
“We didn’t need to get into that position,” said Jim Bottomley, Ramblers coach and general manager after the game. “I thought some guys started to play selfish in the second period and cost us. But we regrouped and played hard in the third.”
The Ramblers opened the game scoring in the first period from Kody Orr with Mitchell O’Neill and Jacob Conrad earning assists. But the Commandos quickly tied the home team and took the lead. Conrad evened out the scored with assists from Patrick Harrison and Orr but the Commandos took the lead back heading into the second period.
“(The Commandos) had great wheels and they were skating,” said Bottomley. “We’re a hitting hockey club and we have to hit them. We weren’t doing it early and they were walking around us. We were passing out tickets and they skating by us. The guys weren’t getting a piece of them and then we started picking it up again.”
Both teams each scored a goal in the second period, giving the Commandos a 4-3 lead. With the Commandos scoring a fifth goal, the Ramblers came back as Danny Harquail scored with plays from Brett Shute and Brock Morrison. Orr tied up the score, with Cam McDonald and Jeff MacPherson earning assists, with 18 seconds left to play, sending the game into overtime.
No goals were made in the five-minute overtime play but Ben Berisha and Conrad each scored goals in the shootout giving the Ramblers the win.
Bottomley said the team shouldn’t make a habit of overtime wins and not capitalizing on their chances.
“We can’t afford it, but it gives us an opportunity to get back on these guys and show them that with a little mistake here and there with no effort and we’re going to be chasing teams,” he said. “We have to play intense every shift.”
Although proud to have scored a shootout goal, Berisha agreed with Bottomley and said they need to continue playing strongly throughout the game in order to be a major competitor in the playoffs.
“Of all the teams I’ve played for, it’s my fourth year in the league, I think this team (Amherst) has the best chance out of all them that I’ve seen,” he said. “We’re built for the playoffs and I’ve no doubt, come playoff time, how we’re going to play.”
Total shots on goal were 46 to 31 for the Ramblers.
729 people attended the game.
The Ramblers travel to Dartmouth Tuesday to face off against the Metro Shipbuilders at 7:30 p.m. then return for a home game Wednesday night against the Weeks Crushers.
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