AMHERST – The Pictou County Weeks Crushers struck early and never let the Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers gain any momentum en route to a 5-2 win in Maritime Junior Hockey League action at the Amherst Stadium on New Year’s Eve.
“We were awful from start to finish. Our fans don’t deserve to watch us play like that,” Ramblers coach and GM Jeff LeBlanc said following the game. “It’s all about effort and when you don’t have an effort like that you’re going to lose, no matter how good you think you are.”
Michael Dill scored just 1:24 into the first period before Jacob Hickey with his first of two at 5:06 and Dylan Riley at the 17-minute mark scored to give the visiting Crushers an early 3-0 lead.
Brock McEwen shoved a rebound home at 17:14 of the first period to put the Ramblers on the board while Will Bower scored his second as a Rambler before the period ended as Amherst pulled to within a goal.
Alex Bonaparte restored the Crushers’ two-goal lead just 4:35 into the second period to chase Ramblers’ goalie Cody Porter before Hickey scored on the power play just 21 seconds into the third to round out scoring in the game.
The Ramblers are back in action on Monday when they face the Summerside Western Capitals at 2 p.m. at the Credit Union Place.
It was a big win for the Crushers, who moved to within four points of fourth-place Truro and leapfrogged them over the Valley Wildcats, who knocked off South Shore 2-1 on Saturday.
The loss came less than 48 hours after a 6-5 win over the Valley Wildcats in Berwich with Layton Parsons scoring the winner for Amherst with 2:33 left in the third period.
Parsons had two goals in the game for Amherst with Will Lafford, Will Bower, Jordan King and Brady Griffin-Hefford also scoring.
Jake Barter had four assists for Amherst and King had three with Bower, Lafford and Dawson Grenier adding single helpers.
Tristan Bowlby, Brett Tidman, Taylor Ewing, Matthew O’Leary and Drew Packman replied for the Wildcats.
After Monday’s game in Summerside, the Ramblers are in Woodstock on Friday before coming home to face the South Shore Lumberjacks at 7 p.m.