NEW GLASGOW, N.S. – Aidan McFarland is starting to get his confidence and that could be bad news for the rest of the Maritime Junior Hockey League.
The 19-year-old left-winger scored his third and fourth goals in two games as the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers defeated the Weeks Crushers 5-2 in Maritime Junior Hockey League action Monday night in New Glasgow.
“When he scored the second one on Saturday (in Yarmouth) I looked at him and it was almost as if a giant elephant had been lifted off his back. He’s got his confidence back and is starting to contribute offensively,” Ramblers coach and GM Jeff LeBlanc said following the game. “He was a key acquisition for us in the offseason and he’s been playing very well the last three or four games. It’s nice to see him get on the scoresheet.”
Jaden Mason and Caleb Rich, from Nick Snow, traded first period goals before McFarland scored twice in the second period to give the Ramblers a 3-1 lead with Rich, Snow, Dayne Chasse and Thomas Ashe adding assists.
Jacob Hickey pulled the Crushers back to within a goal midway through the second, but Casey Fox, with his 10th of the season, restored the two-goal cushion on the power play with Alex Lafreniere and Dawson Grenier adding assists with 2:42 to play in the middle period.
Cole Darrach rounded out scoring with a shorthanded marker into an empty net with 1:22 to play.
Joel Goguen won his second consecutive game stopping 30 of 32 shots while Andrew MacLeod took the loss.
“I thought we played a very good road game. We got off to a slow start, but we played very well in the second period and shut the door in the third,” LeBlanc said. “I thought we started moving our feet very well in the second period and our special teams were very strong tonight.”
The Ramblers return home on Friday night to face the Grand Falls Rapids, who make their first ever visit to the Amherst Stadium, while the Crushers are in Amherst on Saturday. In their only game with the Rapids, Nov. 4 in Grand Falls, the Ramblers won 5-3.
The games will be the club’s first home games since Nov. 8.
Ramblers defenceman Alex Wynter has been selected to tryout for a spot on the Canada East team at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge in Bonnyville, Alta. Wynter is expected to leave for the training camp this weekend.
“It’s a great opportunity for him,” LeBlanc said. “It says a lot about confidence. He was a healthy scratch the first two games of the season. He didn’t take it to heart, he worked hard and when Sartoris and Namagoose went down with injuries he became one of our top five defenceman and he has flourished. He was our best defenceman tonight, which speaks well for an 18-year-old in our league. It’s good to see him continuing to develop and get better. He’s going to be a good junior A defenceman over the next few years.”