Ramblers seeking revenge against Bearcats

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Amherst Toyota Night at the stadium on Saturday

Ramblers assistant coach Jamie Matthews have a word with the referees at Amherst Stadium.

AMHERST – Before visions of sugarplums dance in their heads, Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers coach Jim Bottomley wants his players to focus on a pair of games this weekend.

The Ramblers, who’ve had their last two games snowed out, will be back in action on Friday when they travel to Bridgewater to face the Lumberjacks before coming home to face the Truro Bearcats in their final game before the Christmas break.

Game time Saturday is 7 p.m., which is Amherst Toyota Night at the stadium.

Members of the Ramblers’ alumni association and R and D McLean Construction will also be on hand to present bursaries to several players.

“We really want to finish up the first part of the schedule with two wins. We’re certainly not going to take Bridgewater lightly because they’re a team that can surprise you, and we definitely want to have a better showing against Truro this time,” Bottomley said. “We’re playing well right now. We’ve only lost two games, including the shootout loss to Pictou and the loss to Truro. We want to continue our winning ways and stay in the thick of things.”

Amherst sits in fourth spot in the division at 17-10-1, two points back of third-place Yarmouth and five back of second-place Truro.

A pair of wins on the weekend, coupled with a pair of Yarmouth losses in Summerside could propel the Ramblers into third spot headed into the break.

“The second half is going to so close. There are four or five teams that have a shot of winning the division, so every game is going to count,” Bottomley said. “It’s like playoff hockey, you can’t afford to lose any games and you can’t afford to think there will be any easy wins.”

The Ramblers are coming off a pair of wins last weekend, including a 6-1 win in Kentville last Friday and a 3-0 win over the Campbellton Tigers on home ice on Saturday with Richard Tingley picking up the shutout and newcomer Bruce Hornbrook adding a pair of goals.

Games Sunday in Amherst against Yarmouth and Wednesday in Summerside were cancelled by weather and will be made up sometime in the new year.

Bottomley said Saturday’s game will be key after a stunning 7-1 loss to the Bearcats on home ice on Dec. 7. In that game, Truro scored twice in the first period and added three more in the second en route to the convincing win.

“We have to bring our A game to the rink. We got embarrassed here the last time we played them because we weren’t prepared to pay the full 60 minutes. We didn’t play much after the last 10 minutes,” he said. “We need to get that first goal, build momentum and not stop. They have a quality hockey club there, but we want them to know that if we meet in the playoffs it’s going to be a tough series. The guys need to know they can play at this level every game.”

With the league’s trading deadline on Jan. 10, Bottomley said he plans to be active. He would like to add another defenceman to strengthen the blueline, but feels the biggest need remains a goal-scoring forward.

“Truro and Pictou are at a big of an advantage right now personnel wise, but I believe if we can tweak what we have we’ll be right in the thick of things,” he said. “I would like to get a couple of high-end forwards and another defenceman with some experience.”

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: D McLean Construction, Campbellton Tigers

Geographic location: AMHERST, Yarmouth, Summerside Kentville

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  • Jack on the Rocks
    December 20, 2013 - 06:25

    R & D McLean Construction?????..why not..we have the CIB Wood Gundy Ramblers...LOL