RAM­BLERS FAC­ING ELIM­I­NA­TION TONIGHT IN BRIDGEWATER

Amherst down 3-1 in se­ries af­ter 5-3 loss in Game 4; Game 5 tonight in Bridgewater

The Amherst News - - FRONT PAGE - BY DARRELL COLE darrell.cole@amher­st­news.ca Twit­ter: @ADN­dar­rell

The Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ram­blers are on the brink of elim­i­na­tion fol­low­ing a 5-3 loss to the South Shore Lum­ber­jacks at the Amherst Sta­dium on Wed­nes­day night.

With the win, the Lum­ber­jacks take a 3-1 lead in the be­stof-seven East­link South Divi­sion semi­fi­nal se­ries and can wrap it up at home tonight.

“We just didn’t get the breaks when we needed them,” Ram­blers coach and GM Jeff LeBlanc said fol­low­ing the game. “I thought our guys re­sponded well tonight af­ter a sub-par ef­fort in Game 3, and I think we de­served bet­ter than we got.”

The Ram­blers car­ried a 3-2 lead late into the sec­ond pe­riod and ap­peared to take a 4-2 lead, but the of­fi­cial by the net lost sight of the puck and blew the whis­tle just as a Ram­bler for­ward tapped the puck into the goal.

The Lum­ber­jacks would tie the score a few min­utes later on the power play and then scored a pair of third pe­riod goals, in­clud­ing a long shot from the top of cir­cle with just over 11 min­utes to play to so­lid­ify the win for South Shore.

“That was the turn­ing point,”

LeBlanc said. “They came back and scored to make it 3-3. If we had scored, it would have been 4-2 and it would’ve been a dif­fer­ent

game, but that’s the play­offs and ref­er­ees are hu­man.”

LeBlanc cred­ited Lum­ber­jacks’ goalie MacKen­zie Janes for mak­ing

a num­ber of key saves when it looked as though the Ram­blers were go­ing to pull away in the sec­ond pe­riod and af­ter the Ram­blers fell be­hind 4-3 early in the third.

“He made some big saves for them. He’s play­ing re­ally well for them right now, but we have to find a way to score more goals be­cause we’re giv­ing up way too many,” he said.

De­spite the loss, LeBlanc said his team will re­fo­cus for Game 5 with the goal of bring­ing the se­ries back to Amherst for Game 6 on Sun­day night.

“Any­time you’re down 3-1 is never a good feel­ing, but I’ve coached teams that have come back from 3-1 and I’ve been on teams that have lost when they were 3-1. The big­gest thing is you have to win four. We have to take it one pe­riod at a time and one game at a time. If we win that game on Fri­day, all the pres­sure is on them when it comes back to Amherst on Sun­day.”

Ma­teo Short and Ni­cholas Tardiff each scored twice for South Shore while Lo­gan O’Neil scored for the Lum­ber­jacks.

Lay­ton Par­sons had a goal and an as­sist for the Ram­blers with Jor­dan King and Brady GriffinH­ef­ford adding sin­gle goals. Will Bower had two as­sists and Jake Barter and Matt Sar­toris each had sin­gle as­sists.

DAVE MATHIESON – AMHERST NEWS

Ram­blers player Liam Con­rad got some air-time dur­ing third pe­riod ac­tion of Game 4 Wed­nes­day night at Amherst Sta­dium. Game 5 is tonight in Bridgewater. Game 6, if nec­es­sary, is Sun­day at 7 p.m. at Amherst Sta­dium.

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