Ram­blers pick up three of four points on week­end

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - SPORTS - BY DAR­RELL COLE

AMHERST - Lo­gan Styler and Zack MacEwan scored in the shootout as the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ram­blers picked up their first home win of the sea­son with a 6-5 vic­tory over the Yar­mouth Mariners in Mar­itime Ju­nior Hockey League ac­tion on Sun­day.

The win came against the team’s for­mer coach, Jim Bot­tom­ley, who is coach­ing in Yar­mouth this sea­son.

“The boys are re­ally happy and I’m re­ally proud of the ef­fort they put for­ward,” Ram­blers’ coach Josh Hepditch said. “They’ve been play­ing with a lot of pres­sure, not just to win at home in front of our fans but to put some wins to­gether.”

Trail­ing 4-2 in the sec­ond pe­riod it ap­peared as though the Ram­blers were headed to­ward another home loss when Lu­cas Batt, who had three goals and four points on Satur­day in a 5-4 over­time loss to Mi­ramichi, and Styler each scored to tie the game.

Batt scored on a penalty shot just 37 seconds into the third pe­riod be­fore Sean Fraser scored for Yar­mouth to force the ex­tra pe­riod that led to a shootout.

Styler and MacEwan also scored for Amherst while Con­nor Donaghey, Cole Regi­nato, Shawn Boudreau and Bran­don Syms scored for the Mariners.

Com­ing off a tough 8-1 loss in Berwick to the Val­ley Wild­cats, the Ram­blers en­joyed a 3-1 lead on Satur­day be­fore the Tim­ber­wolves ral- lied to take a late 4-3 lead.

Jake McKenna tied it when his long shot through traf­fic eluded the Mi­ramichi goalie with just over four min­utes to go.

Lee Dower scored the win­ner 2:39 into the ex­tra pe­riod.

Tyler Brown, Jor­dan Kennedy, Bray­den Wood and Ri­ley Scott also scored for Mi­ramichi.

“The last two games we have got­ten off to some good starts and Kyle (Michalovksy) has made some big saves to keep us close. Our con­fi­dence has built as the games went on and we picked up a big three points,” Hepditch said.

Prior to Satur­day’s game, the Ram­blers hon- oured mem­bers of the 1989-90 Cal­laghan Cup cham­pi­onship club. Ten mem­bers of the ju­nior fran­chise’s only cham­pi­onship team came back for the cel­e­bra­tion that in­cluded the pre­sen­ta­tion of sweaters to long­time trainer Wil­lie Boyle and to Ja­son My­att, who ac­cepted on be­half of his brother Jeff who lost his bat­tle to can­cer soon after the Ram­blers went to Ver­non, B.C.

The Ram­blers made a move on Satur­day send­ing the rights to Zack Tay­lor (Shaw­ini­gan), An­drew Murphy and fu­ture con­sid­er­a­tions to Wood­stock for de­fence­man Michael White, for­ward Peter Woulds and mid­get-aged Cody MacPhee.

“We’ve been work­ing to con­tinue im­prov­ing our back end and Mike comes in with a year of ex­pe­ri­ence in the league and com­ing from a pro­gram like Wood­stock’s he knows what it takes to win,” Hepditch said. “He brings sta­bil­ity and con­fi­dence with him and plays with a lot of poise.”

Hepditch said Woulds plays a com­plete game of­fen­sively and de­fen­sively and is a valu­able ad­di­tion to the club.

He un­der­stands the club has a long way to go to get back in the play­off race and Hepditch said he will be con­tin­u­ing to make ad­di­tions to im­prove the hockey club. He ex­pects there will be a lot of ac­tiv­ity through­out the league lead­ing up to Dec. 1.

The Ram­blers are home again Satur­day to host the Bridge­wa­ter Lum­ber­jacks, who last week were taken over by the league as its searches for a new owner.

“We have to find a way to pull some wins to­gether and get some points. We have some key di­vi­sional games com­ing up that we have to win,” Hepditch said. “We can’t af­ford to throw any­more points away.”

The Ram­blers were with­out Seth Sch­midt on the week­end as he served a two-game sus­pen­sion for a check­ing from be­hind penalty, while Ryan Youlds has been out with an up­per body in­jury. De­fence­man Lu­cas Sangster will sit out two games after re­ceiv­ing his third blow to the head penalty in Sun­day’s win over Yar­mouth.

Chuck Ross, cap­tain of the 1989-90 Cal­laghan Cup-win­ning Amherst Ram­blers, talks to fans dur­ing a pre-game cer­e­mony prior to Satur­day’s game against the Mi­ramichi Tim­ber­wolves. Mem­bers of the team’s only At­lantic cham­pi­onship club were in­vited back to Amherst for sev­eral events dur­ing the day in­clud­ing the grand open­ing of Holmes and Maltby Clean­ers and Maltby’s Once Again Sports, the Christ­mas pa­rade and the game. Dar­rell Cole - Cit­i­zen-Record

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