Ramblers head to Truro with backs to the wall

Amherst needs to win to extend the season

Published on April 9, 2017

Matt Cusson and the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers head to Truro on Monday night for Game 6 of their best-of-seven Eastlink South Division final series. Truro leads the series 3-1.

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AMHERST, N.S. – With their backs to the wall, the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers head to Truro Monday with one goal in mind.

Get the best-of-seven series back to the Amherst Stadium for a sixth game.
Following the Truro Bearcats 3-2 win over the Ramblers in Amherst on Saturday, the Ramblers head to Rath Eastlink Community Centre for Game 5 down 3-1 in the series.
“We just have to take it one game at a time,” Ramblers’ coach Jeff LeBlanc said on Sunday. “Our goal is not to end it in that rink. We want to get back to Amherst and 2,000-plus fans for Game 6 and take it from there.”
After Jordan King scored in the third period it looked as though the Ramblers and Bearcats were heading for overtime. But Kyle Tibbo tipped a shot by Ramblers’ goalie Daryl MacCallum with just over three minutes to play and the Ramblers could not find the equalizer before more than 2,100 fans at the stadium.
LeBlanc said he sat with the coaching staff after Saturday’s game wondering what could have been done differently. He feels his players almost played the perfect game, keeping Truro’s big guns off the score sheet for most of the game.
As he was pleased with how his team played on Saturday, there are a few things he wants to do differently in Truro. One is to get more traffic in front of Bearcats’ goalie Jason Rioux.
“We have to make life a little more difficult for him, nothing against the rules, but at the same time we need more bodies in front of him,” LeBlanc said. “He’s playing very well right now for them. He’s faced 130 shots in four games and only allowed four goals. He’s playing well.”
Another key, he said, is more secondary scoring. King and Matt Lapointe have been called upon to do most of the club’s scoring in the playoffs, but he’s hoping to get more scoring out of more players.
“We need someone else to step up and be the hero for us,” LeBlanc said. “We have shown a lot of character throughout the playoffs, like bouncing back after losing Game 6 at home against Pictou to win Game 7 and then winning in Truro last week to get back in the series. There’s lots of character in that room and I know the boys will respond.”
Game 6, if necessary, will be back in Amherst on Tuesday night with the seventh game in Truro on Thursday night.
The series winner moves on to face the Miramichi Timberwolves in the MHL final. The Timberwolves defeated the Summerside Western Capitals 5-1 on Friday night in Summerside to sweep that series in four games.
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We have shown a lot of character throughout the playoffs, like bouncing back after losing Game 6 at home against Pictou to win Game 7 and then winning in Truro last week to get back in the series. There’s lots of character in that room and I know the boys will respond.

Jeff LeBlanc, CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers coach and general manager