BRIDGEWATER – The Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers ran into penalty problems in the second period and it cost them Game 3 in their best-of-seven Eastlink South Division series on Monday night.
The Ramblers gave up one power play goal and were shorthanded six times en route to a 5-3 loss to the South Shore Lumberjacks, who now lead the series 2-1 with Game 4 back in Amherst tonight at 7 p.m.
“We gave them Game 3, that’s the bottom line. We can’t take penalties like we’re taking and expect to win, it’s not going to happen,” Ramblers coach and GM Jeff LeBlanc said following the game. “We were very selfish tonight and it cost us Game 3. Our best had to be our best and they weren’t tonight.”
After Riley Gill gave South Shore the first lead of the game, 10:49 into the opening period, Will Bower scored with 1:21 left to send the teams to the dressing room tied at one after a period.
Matt Paul scored 5:43 into the second period to restore the Lumberjacks lead and Mateo Short scored on the power play at 10:07 to give South Shore a two-goal cushion after two.
Ryan MacLellan scored a highlight worthy goal 5:45 into the final period to extend the lead to 4-1 before Layton Parsons and Brady Griffin-Hefford, both on the power play scored at 16:18 and 19:28 to pull the Ramblers to within a goal.
Nicholas Tardiff scored 28 seconds later to round out scoring in the game and send the series back to Amherst with the Ramblers facing a must-win on home ice.
“Hopefully they learn from what happened tonight,” he said. “I really thought we got that out of our system after Game 1. You can’t take penalty after penalty and expect to win hockey games at this time of the year. We took the same number of stupid penalties and it cost us the game and, honestly, I’m getting sick and tired of it.”
LeBlanc said it’s frustrating because taking advantage of undisciplined play was how the Ramblers upset the Pictou County Weeks Crushers in seven games last spring.
“You’d think the guys who were here last year would know that. Pictou County took a lot of bad penalties against us and it cost them the series. You’d think our guys would’ve learned from that,” LeBlanc said. “It’s not going to happen in Game 4. It’s frustrating to see this happening.”
South Shore outshot the Ramblers 33-28.
The Ramblers got back in the series with a 4-3 win on Saturday as Layton Parsons scored with less than three minutes to play in the third period.
Jacob Myra, Caleb Rich and Dawson Grenier also scored for Amherst in the game while Mateo Short, Aidan Casey and Logan O’Neil scored for South Shore.