AMHERST – The Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers have reacquired their offence.
The Ramblers scored two times in the first period and two more times in the second while adding a single third period goal en route to a 5-2 win over the Miramichi Timberwolves in Maritime Junior Hockey League action in Amherst on Monday.
“It was a big win for us, the boys played a perfect game,” Ramblers coach Jeff LeBlanc said following the win that moves the Ramblers within a point of clinching a playoff spot for the second consecutive year. “We played the way we need to play in the playoffs today.”
Will Lafford and Liam Conrad gave the Ramblers an early 2-0 lead over the Timberwolves while Layton Parson returned from an injury to score in the second period along with Brady Griffin-Hefford.
Jacob Myra scored in the third for Amherst while Mitchell Kreis and Johnny Foley replied in the game for Miramichi, who has already clinched a playoff spot in the Eastlink North Division.
Conrad, Matt Sartoris, Thomas Ashe, Jordan King and Caleb Rich added assists for Amherst.
The win came two days after a convincing 7-1 win on home ice against the Woodstock Slammers on Saturday.
King ended a bit of an offensive drought in the game with a goal and three assists while Conrad had two goals and an assist and Will Bower had a goal and two assists.
Rich had a goal and an assist and Lafford and Cole Waugh also scored single goals with Dawson Grenier and Griffin-Hefford each chipping in two assists and Brock McEwen adding one.
Matt MacNeil scored the lone goal for Woodstock.
LeBlanc said it was good to see the offence come back to life over the weekend, but he said it wasn’t something the coaching staff was worried about. He said his club has lots of size, but it has to do a better job of creating traffic and getting more pucks to the other team’s net.
“We knew it was going to come back eventually, it really wasn’t something to worry about,” LeBlanc said. “Still, you could see the confidence begin to build in the guys on Saturday and when (Jordan) King scored on Saturday you could see the look of relief on his face.”
The win on Monday put a bit more breathing room between the Ramblers and the fourth place Truro Bearcats, who eked out a 3-2 shootout win over Amherst at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre on Friday.
Griffin-Hefford and Conrad scored in the third to force overtime with Cameron MacLeaod and Alex MacDonald scoring for Truro.
The Ramblers, who are two points back of second place South Shore, return to action on Thursday night in New Glasgow against the Weeks Crushers before returning home Saturday to face the Valley Wildcats at 7 p.m.