AMHERST, N.S. – Bradley Dawe joined the rush with just over two minutes to go, picked up a pass and buried it past goaltender Andrew MacLeod as the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers nipped the Pictou County Weeks Crushers 2-1 in Maritime Junior Hockey League action.
“That’s a big win for us tonight, a major character win,” coach and GM Jeff LeBlanc said following the game. “Especially considering what we experienced the last few days.”
The Ramblers dropped a 6-2 decision in Truro on Friday in a game that cost them defenceman Linden Namagoose and forward Matt Green to long-term injuries. Namagoose had just returned from being out several weeks, when during a scrum late in the game he took a pair of punches from Caleb Hart of the Bearcats – who drew a five-game suspension.
Dawson Grenier, who came to his aid and fought hart, got three games for a gross misconduct penalty.
That came after the league took last Saturday’s win over the Valley Wildcats away from the Ramblers for allegedly using an ineligible player.
With several regulars out of the lineup and a high school player in, in the form of defenceman Alex Hayes, the Ramblers took a 1-0 in the first period when Max Boudreau was left untouched at the side of the goal and buried a rebound by MacLeod with Will Lafford and Cole Darrach adding assists.
The Crushers would tie the game when Barrett Dachyshyn scored off a turnover on the power play early in the second period with Dylan Riley and Evan Gallant adding an assist.
Pictou County appeared to take the lead with five minutes to go in the third period when a shot by Riley appeared to beat Rambler goalie Matt Williams and go through the net. The goal light never came on and the puck came out the other side. The game continued for more than a minute before a stoppage at which time the referees and linesmen conferred and checked with the goal judge only to rule no goal.
The Crushers would take a late penalty and were unable to mount much of a rally following Dawe’s goal.
“The boys never quit and they were resilient. To me it was one of the biggest character wins in my years in Amherst because we were really up against it,” LeBlanc said.
The Ramblers are back in action on Friday night when they travel to Berwick to face the Valley Wildcats before coming home Saturday for their first encounter against the Yarmouth Mariners.