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 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.
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.