PICTOU COUNTY – Thursday night the Pictou County Weeks Crushers playoff positioning was determined as the Amherst Ramblers made sure the Crushers couldn’t catch them in the standings with a 6-2 win over Pictou County.
In the first period both teams were evenly matched, with no team clearly dominating, but Jacob Conrad opened the scoring for the Ramblers at the 14:57 mark to take a 1-0 lead through to the intermission.
The Ramblers carried their momentum from late in first period into the second as Danny Harquail put Amherst up 2-0 just 1:31 into the frame. Less than three minutes later Mitchell O’Neill opened up a 3-0 lead for Amherst.
Pictou County were getting chances, but seemed to have no answers for Ramblers’ goaltender Richard Tingley until at the 8:48 mark, Garrett Holmes ruined any hopes Tingley had for a shutout, tucking the puck under him after a tape-to-tape pass of the stick of Nick Parker from the sideboards.
“Personally it felt good, I mean it always feels good to score, but I have to put my team ahead of myself,” said Holmes. “We need to worry about getting the job done and not the individual points. I wish we could’ve came back with that goal there, but we fell into a lull there and there was too much selfish play.”
Just seven minutes later on the penalty kill the Crushers took advantage of Morgan Walker’s stick exploding as he tried to clear the zone, with Holmes picking up the puck in Ramblers territory. Holmes put the puck across to Andrew Graham who made no mistake scoring his first goal in a little under a month (since Jan. 24) to cut the lead to one.
With just 32 seconds remaining in the period, on the power play, the Ramblers would deflate the Crushers comeback, extending their lead to two again.
In the third Amherst padded their lead scoring two power play goals from Jamie Bishop and Jeff MacPherson en route to their 6-2 win. The Ramblers went 3-6 on the power play, while the Crushers went 1-6. Holmes said that was the difference in them falling short.
“Our special teams weren’t up to par tonight and we definitely have to figure that out and start buying into our systems,” he said. “There’s too many guys on their own page right now and we need to bear down and start playing like a team again.”
The Crushers next game is on the road next Wednesday against the Ramblers. Holmes said the team needs to work on their systems, get into the right mindset and focus on working as a team and sticking to systems laid out by the coaching staff in their remaining regular season games to prepare for the playoffs.
Pictou County Weeks Crushers 2
2nd Garrett Holmes from Nick Parker and Evan MacEachern 8:48
2nd Andrew Graham from Garrett Holmes 15:45 PP
Amherst Ramblers 6
1st Jacob Conrad from Jamie Bishop 14:57
2nd Danny Harquail from Jeff MacPherson and Maxime Richard 1:31
2nd Mitchell O’Neill from Kody Orr and Jacob Conrad 4:01
2nd Patrick Harrison from Kody Orr and Cam MacDonald 19:28 PP
2nd Jamie Bishop from Danny Harquail and Maxime Richard 7:59 PP
3rd Jeff MacPherson from Jamie Bishop and Willie MacDonald 16:12 PP
W: Richard Tingley 42 saves
L: Brandon Thibeau 24 saves