Ramblers split weekend play
Oakley's OT goal ends losing skid
AMHERST - After suffering three straight losses, the Amherst Ramblers found a way to avoid a fourth.
Andrew Oakley's second goal of the game with less than a minute remaining in overtime lifted the Ramblers to a 5-4 win over the Antigonish Bulldogs in MJAHL action in Amherst on Saturday.
"We battled back. We fell behind early, but the boys competed for the whole game," Rambler coach Corey Crocker said Sunday. "Even though it took us to overtime, it really wasn't an overtime game because we pretty much controlled it throughout."
Antigonish jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on a pair of goals by Justin MacKay and a single marker from Mike Thomas before Crocker yanked goalie Andrew Flemming and replaced him with Patrick O'Brien.
"It's a true indication of teamwork. Andrew was victim to a couple of unlucky bounces. It wasn't that he was playing bad, but we needed to make a chance and I knew Pat was ready."
Matt Squires scored before the period ended to put Amherst on the board but Nick Allard restored Antigonish's three-goal cushion just 11 seconds into the second period.
Travis Turner, Brent Lynch and Oakley scored over an eight-minute span to tie the game. There was no scoring in the third, setting the stages for Oakley's overtime marker.
Adam Chipman, Jordan Escott, Zach Carson, Richard Belliveau and Squires added assists.
Amherst outshot Antigonish 47-27.
"We had an intense meeting on Saturday morning and one of the things we talked about is leadership. The veterans stepped up and secured the win," Crocker said.
On Friday, the Summerside Western Capitals built up an early lead and nearly squandered it before defeating the Ramblers 5-2 with Mike MacIsaac, Jordan Knox, Chad Loewen, Trevor Carmichael and Kory Cooke scoring.
Adam Chipman and Lee Denny scored for Amherst with Escott, Turner, Carson and Eric Boudreau adding assists.
Summerside outshot Amherst 45-34.
"We played in spurts. I don't know what it is but Summerside seems to have our number over there," Crocker said of Friday's game.
The Ramblers return to action on Thursday when they travel to Halifax to face the Wolverines - a team they have yet to beat this season.
(With files from Chris Gooding)