AMHERST, N.S. – The Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers rode a dominating first period and added three more third period goals en route to a 6-1 win over the top team the Maritime Junior Hockey League on Saturday night.
Jacob Myra, Casey Fox and Will Lafford scored in the first period as the Ramblers opened up a 3-0 lead over the Yarmouth Mariners and while Matt Barron scored early in the third to make it 3-1, Stephen Fox scored twice and Alex Lafreniere added one to round out the scoring.
“I thought we had a really good first period and took it to them, sort of sat back a bit in the second and then did what we had to do in the third to get the win,” Ramblers coach and GM Jeff LeBlanc said following the game. “We went to the dirty areas tonight, something we didn’t do very good last night.”
The Ramblers bounced back Saturday following a 3-2 loss in Berwick against the Valley Wildcats on Friday, a game in which they outshot the Wildcats 50-20 but couldn’t solve goalie Liam MacDonald.
Things were much different against the Mariners, who came into the game after a 2-0 win in St. Stephen, N.B. on Friday.
“We did all the little things tonight that we need to do to beat good hockey teams in this league,” LeBlanc said. “We had the third guy high and our defence did a great job moving the puck up the ice. When you look at our lineup tonight, we had four defenceman out of our seven regulars out of the lineup and ended up with a big win. It’s a good feeling and the boys deserved it.”
LeBlanc said goalie Matt Williams was solid in nets against the Mariners, making several key stops in the second period when Yarmouth seemed to find its legs. Stephen Fox also had a strong night while he was thrilled with what he called a strong defensive game as a team.
On Friday, Jackson Thomas and Felix Meunier scored goals 33 seconds apart in the third period as the Wildcats won 3-2. Matt Duggan also scored for Valley while Alex Lafreniere and Max Boudreau scored for the Ramblers, who led 2-1 after two period.
The Ramblers return to action next weekend with a swing through western and northwestern New Brunswick with games in St. Stephen on Friday, Edmundston on Saturday and Grand Falls on Sunday.
Amherst is not back home until Thursday, Nov. 8 when the Ramblers host the Truro Bearcats.