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Yarmouth Mariners won't get the chance to play for Fred Page Cup championship title

The Ramblers and Mariners battle for the puck in front of the Mariners net Thursday night at Amherst Stadium.
The Ramblers and Mariners battle for the puck in front of the Mariners net Thursday night at Amherst Stadium. - Dave Mathieson

The Yarmouth Mariners still have a division title and league championship to look back on following an amazing season, but the team won’t get the chance to play for the Fred Page Cup championship in Amherst following a heartbreaking loss after a come-from-behind effort on Day 2 of the tournament.

Despite outshooting their opponents 91-68 in their first two games of the Fred Page Cup, a 3-2 loss to Princeville on Day 1 and then their 5-3 loss to host team Amherst Ramblers on Day 2 eliminated the Mariners from the chance to move on past the round robin of the four-team eastern Canadian Jr. A championship.

With just under two minutes left in the game against Amherst, the Mariners were still in contention as a win or a tie would have kept them in the running to possibly advance past the round robin. But after the Mariners had rebounded from a 3-0 deficit and tied the game 3-3 in the third period, Amherst scored twice with under two minutes left, with their last goal coming on the Mariners' empty net for the 5-3 win.

In the May 2 contest the Ramblers had wasted no time getting on the board. Cole Waugh beat Mariners goaltender Tyler Caseley just 18 seconds into the 1st period to put Amherst on top 1-0. Yarmouth had several good scoring chances, but goaltender Matt Williams made a number of spectacular saves to keep Amherst in the lead. Shots after the 1st period were 15-14 for the Mariners.

The Ramblers then capitalized on other opportunities in the 2nd period with a pair of goals from Casey Fox. His first came at 4:52, and his second at 16:00 on the powerplay. The Mariners outshot the Ramblers 18-14 in the period, but Amherst held a 3-0 lead.

With their season on the line, the Mariners mounted a comeback in the third period.

Brett Crossley scored off a faceoff just 50 seconds into the 3rd period to cut the Amherst lead to 3-1. At 5:21, Cade Neilson found the back of the net for Yarmouth to bring them to within a goal. They would tie the game at 14:45 as a Landon Quinney one-timer beat Williams. With most of the action in Amherst's end in the 3rd period, the game seemed destined for overtime. Cole Waugh had other ideas, however, as a shot on goal squeaked through Caseley at 18:27 and Amherst regained the lead 4-3. With the Yarmouth goaltender on the bench, Matt Green finished off the win with an empty net goal to make the final 5-3 for Amherst.

The Mariners had again outshot the Ramblers, with SOG being 12-8 in the final frame for an overall shots on goal during the game being 45-36 for the Mariners. The players of the game were Cole Waugh for Amherst and Brett Crossley for Yarmouth.

In the other round-robin game on May 2, Prince defeated Ottawa 4-3 in overtime.

Day 3 of the Fred Page Cup on Friday at Amherst Stadium, the end of the round robin, will feature Yarmouth against Ottawa at 3 p.m., with Princeville taking on Amherst at 7:30. Princeville sits atop the standings with five points, Ottawa is second with four, Amherst has three, and Yarmouth has zero. The team who finishes first advance directly to the final at 4 p.m. on Sunday, with second and third playing in the semifinal on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Games are being televised on Eastlink Community TV channels 10 and 610, as well as online on HockeyTV. The round robin wraps up Friday, with the semifinal on Saturday and final on Sunday. The winner will advance to the National Jr. A Championship in Brooks, Alberta from May 11-19.

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