YARMOUTH, N.S. – Next Man Up is the theme that’s starting to develop with the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers this season.
Already beset with several injuries, the Ramblers suffered a couple more on Saturday but still managed to defeat the top team in the Maritime Junior Hockey League, the Yarmouth Mariners, 6-1 at the Mariners Centre.
“It was probably one of the best road games we’ve played all season,” coach and GM Jeff LeBlanc said following the game. “We haven’t played in 14 days and we spent a lot of time preparing for this game. We just wanted to get through the first period with a tie and we ended up with a one-goal lead.”
Cole Waugh scored in the first period for the Ramblers from Bradley Dawe and Caleb Rich and after Brett Crossley tied it up midway through the second period on the power play the Ramblers dominated the rest of the way scoring five unanswered goals to maintain their perfect record against the Mariners this season.
Thomas Ashe returned to the lineup for the first time since September, but the club lost Matt Williams to a short-term injury that prevented him from playing while Colton McKenna was lost for a longer period to an upper body injury.
Hunter McIntyre is also out of the lineup.
Jacob Myra took a puck to the face but came back in the third period to score a big insurance goal while Alex Lafreniere, who scored what proved to be the winner with 2:50 to go in the second period, added a third period goal and Aidan McFarland scored twice in the final 2:16 to round out scoring in the game.
Dawson Grenier, Cole Darrach and Dawe each had two assists for Amherst with McFarland, Casey Fox, Stephen Fox and Max Boudreau each adding one.
Joel Goguen was solid in nets stopping 29 or 30 shots. Tyler Caseley took the loss for Yarmouth facing 33 shots.
“Over all it was a great game. Everyone played a great game, from the net out,” LeBlanc said. “It’s tough to play in that rink after a five-hour bus trip and I’m so proud of the way they played tonight.”
LeBlanc said Alex Whynter, Dayne Chasse and Ashe were the unsung heroes defensively for the club.
Amherst is back in action on Monday in New Glasgow against the Weeks Crushers, who upended Truro on home ice on Thursday and shut out the Valley Wildcats in Berwick on Saturday night.
“They’re on a roll right now and they’re playing a lot better hockey,” LeBlanc said. “They lost, I think, nine one-goal games this year and I believe they’re a much stronger hockey team than their record shows.”
Amherst is home Friday, Nov. 30 against the Grand Falls Rapids before hosting the Crushers the following night.