AMHERST – Payback will be sweet if the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers beat the Truro Bearcats Saturday night at Amherst Stadium.
“It an easy game to get up for,” said Jeff LeBlanc, Ramblers coach and general manager. “They beat us out of the playoffs last year and we’re looking for a little bit of revenge.”
With a record of 6-2-1-1 (Win-loss-otl-sol) Amherst has got off to a better start to the season than 6-and-6 Bearcats.
“Our goal was to get 14 points in 10 games so we met our goal,” said LeBlanc.
The Bearcats lost nine forwards from last year’s team.
“That’s a big blow for them but at the same time they picked up (Campbell) Pickard who is one of the better players in the league, and they got a kid by the name of (Dylan) Burton as well that’s another very good player in the league,” said LeBlanc. “We know we’re going to have our hands full, especially coming back from the road trip to Yarmouth.”
Friday night the Ramblers are in Yarmouth to play the Mariners, another division rival.
Yarmouth goes into the weekend atop the Maritime Hockey League standings with a 9-2 record, tied with the Edmundston Blizzard.
“We have the toughest test of the year Friday night against, arguably, one of the best teams in the league,” said LeBlanc. “It’s a hard trip to go down there and come back and play another home game right away, so it’s going to be a character test for us.”
The Rambler had three practices this week.
“We worked on getting the puck in deep. We’re a team that if we can get it in deep and we can use our speed to get on their defence it’s going to help us,” said LeBlanc. “When we’re not turning the puck over at the blue lines or the red lines I find we’re a tough team to play against.”
Turnovers are a problem the Ramblers are trying to correct.
“I though against Campbellton especially, but even against Summerside, there were a lot of times when we were trying to place the pucks and we were giving it right back to them,” said LeBlanc. “The intention was good but the execution wasn’t. That’s something we need to get better at for sure moving forward.”
The Ramblers celebration of their 50th year continues Saturday night by honouring the first Ramblers Junior A team from 50 years ago.
Players from that team will be introduced during a pregame ceremony.
The game starts at 7 p.m.