Ramblers hope to keep no-loss-record to Bearcats, Commandos alive

Play at home Saturday, Monday


Published on February 15, 2017

The Amherst Ramblers won all four of the their games against the Truro Bearcats this season, including this 2-0 win on Remembrance Day. They meet Friday night in Truro, and then Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Amherst Stadium. They also beat Truro by scores of 2-1, 7-3, and 4-3 this season.

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AMHERST – This long weekend, the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers play two teams they have perfect records against so far this season, the Truro Bearcats and the Dieppe Commandos.

We have to make sure we’re clicking on all cylinders by the time we get the playoffs going Jeff LeBlanc, Ramblers coach, general manager

“They’re both very good teams,” said Jeff LeBlanc, Ramblers coach and general manager.

Truro currently sits in third place in the Eastlink South Division with 56 points, and the Ramblers are fourth with 54 points. Dieppe is second in the North Division with 52 points.

The Ramblers travel to Truro Friday, then return home Saturday to host the Commandos at 7 p.m., and then host Truro Monday at 2 p.m. Both home games are part of the 2017 Amherst Winter Carnival.

“It’s going to be a big test for our group and we’re looking to come away with some points,” said LeBlanc.

Matt LaPointe vs. Truro Bearcats.

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Ramblers vs. Truro

The Ramblers have beat Truro in all four of their meetings this season.

“Someone told me the other day Truro have not missed the playoffs in the last 13 years. They always have very good teams and are very well coached,” said LeBlanc.

That coach, and general manager, is Shawn Evans.

Leblanc went up against Evans in two Maritime Hockey League finals when he was head coach with the Commandos.

“Shawn is somebody I respect a great deal, and we always get up playing against them because they’re always a good team,” said LeBlanc.

Matt Satoris vs. Truro Bearcats

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Ramblers vs. Dieppe

The Ramblers have beat Dieppe (52 points) in both of their meetings this season.

“We have to play hard, we have to play good in both ends, and we have to outwork any team we’re playing against,” said LeBlanc. “Anytime we do that we give ourselves a chance to win.”

Ramblers vs. Weeks Crushers

The Ramblers haven’t had much success against the Pictou County Weeks Crushers this season, going 1-4 against the top team in the MHL with 60 points. But they did beat the Crushers 4-3 in New Glasgow on Sunday after losing all four of their previous games to them this season, including a 7-2 loss last Wednesday at Amherst Stadium.

“On Wednesday they had four tip-in goals. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen that many tip-in goals in one game by one team,” said LeBlanc. “But we played very hard Sunday night to come away with two points to finish off the season series with them.”

The win gave the team a big boost.

“It’s good for the confidence because we didn’t beat them all year and to go into their barn and beat them in the last game of the year, I thought we played very well against a very good team.”

Brandon Kosik vs. Commandos. The Ramblers host the Commandos Saturday at 7 p.m. The Ramblers beat Dieppe in both their meetings this season by scores of 3-1 and 4-3.

©File Photo - TC Media

Nerves at home

They also lost 5-1 at home on Saturday against the Yarmouth Mariners, who have 58 points in the South Division.

LeBlanc said nerves might play a role when playing at home.

“Sometimes we get nervous to play at home and that’s something we have to change,” he said.

“I don’t know if it’s the crowd or the smaller rink compared to all the other rinks in the league but it seems the team sometimes has trouble playing at home,” he added. “That’s definitely something we need to work on for the playoffs because we’re going for home-ice advantage and we want that first game at home starting the first round.”

LeBlanc said the Ramblers will keep improving.

“We have to make sure we’re clicking on all cylinders by the time we get the playoffs going.”

Schedule

The Ramblers have 11 more regular season games before the playoffs.

Saturday night’s game at Amherst Stadium starts at 7 p.m., and Monday’s game at Amherst Stadium starts at 2 p.m.

Dawson Grenier vs. Truro Bearcats

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