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Fourth year in a row, Canadians can call themselves champions

Daniel Vazzoler

Calendars sold in the Carleton Place area might want to start labelling the fourth Sunday of April “Championship Sunday” as the Carleton Place Canadians claimed their fourth consecutive Bogart Cup – winning all four of them on a Sunday at the Carleton Place Arena.

“It was funny, we had the schedule originally to play this game (Game Five) on Saturday night,” Jason Clarke, Canadians coach, said. “I always ask the captains if they like the schedule or if they’d like to change it. Andrew Dodson requested that we play Sunday afternoon at the C.P.C. Ice Palace because he thought we could win the series in five.”

Dodson’s bold prediction stayed in house until the end of a hard-fought series that saw the Canadians win four games in a row, each by one goal including Sunday’s 4-3 overtime victory to win the series. Carleton Place had strong performances throughout their lineup to help get the series win, and it was the rookie Zach Tupker who delivered two goals in the series-clinching game and scored the Cup winning goal 2:22 into overtime.

“He’s been great all series long, he’s been great all playoffs,” Clarke said about Tupker. “All of the ice he’s gotten, he’s deserved. We said we wanted to play four lines through the overtime because of the double-overtime in the game before and he came out and did a great job.”

For Dodson and Connor Merkley, the two 20-year-olds have been part of the team for all four championships, something Merkley doesn’t take for granted.

“It’s truly an honour to win my fourth Bogart Cup. Time flies and it feels like yesterday was starting out as a Carleton Place Canadian. It’s not always an easy place to play, but it’s worth it in the end.”

The two veterans recognized the moment as they both went up to receive the Bogart Cup from commissioner Kevin Abrams and hoisted it high together to signal the start of the celebration with their teammates.

Nicolas Samson put a damper on the Canadians crowd with a first period goal in the first period, but the fans in attendance came back to life thanks to goals from Tupker and Dodson 1:48 apart in the second period to put Carleton Place in front.

Alex Way tied the game with a power play goal before Antoine Desmeules responded with a power goal of his own, whipping a wrist shot past Ian Andriano to put Carleton Place ahead going into the third period.

Thomas Stevenson tied the game early in the third period, setting up Tupker’s heroics in the extra frame.

Alex Friesen won a battle along the boards and sent the puck to Tupker in the slot. His first shot was stopped, but he got his own rebound and chipped it past Andriano to set off the on-ice celebrations for the Canadians.

Connor Hughes was strong in the playoffs for the Canadians, and earned MVP honours for his efforts. He had a 2.27 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage in the playoffs – 2.63 GAA and .912 SV% in the finals.

For Clarke, he said the celebrations were more about reminiscing and looking back over the championships.

“You win your first two and you’re just so excited about winning, and then this one, as soon as we won I didn’t celebrate. I just started thinking about all the hard work that all of the staff has put in in eight years. It’s the same volunteer base, same staff pretty much, it’s just so amazing what we’ve been able to accomplish together as a community, as a team, as a staff and all the players. I couldn’t be prouder to be able to work with the people that I work with every day.”

The win means the Canadians will be the CCHL representative at the Fred Page Cup for the fourth straight year and they will look to win that title for a fourth time as well. The tournament will take place May 3-7 in Terrebonne, Que. Carleton Place plays in the first game against the team from the Quebec Junior Hockey League at 4 p.m. Full schedule can be found at http://fredpagecup.pointstreaksites.com/view/fredpagecup/-8438/schedule

Road to the Bogart Cup

* = if necessary

Date in bold = home game for top seed

Date = home game for lower seed

Bogart Cup Finals

(1) Carleton Place vs (3) Ottawa

CPC won 4-1

Apr. 15, OTT 5-2

Apr. 16, CPC 3-2

Apr. 19, CPC 4-3

Apr. 21, CPC 3-2 2OT

Apr. 23, CPC 4-3 OT

Semi-finals

(1) Carleton Place vs (5) Kemptville

CPC won 4-2

Mar. 31, KEM 3-2 OT

Apr. 2, CPC 4-1

Apr. 5, KEM 4-1

Apr. 6, CPC 4-1

Apr. 8, CPC 3-2 OT

Apr. 9, CPC 6-1

 (2) Cornwall vs (3) Ottawa

OTT won 4-0

Mar. 30, OTT 5-1

Apr. 1, OTT 2-1

Apr. 4, OTT 4-1

Apr. 5, OTT 4-3

Quarter-finals

(1) Carleton Place vs (8) Nepean

CPC won 4-1

Mar. 17, CPC 6-4

Mar. 19, NEP 3-2

Mar. 21, CPC 6-3

Mar. 22, CPC 4-0

Mar. 24, CPC 4-1

 (2) Cornwall vs (7) Smiths Falls

COR won 4-1

Mar. 16, COR 4-3 OT

Mar. 17 COR 4-3 2OT

Mar. 19, COR 6-0

Mar. 21, SMF 3-2

Mar. 23, COR 5-3

 (3) Ottawa vs (6) Brockville

OTT won 4-1

Mar. 15, OTT 2-1 OT

Mar. 17, OTT 2-1 2OT

Mar. 18, BRO 3-0

Mar. 21, OTT 6-2

Mar. 23, OTT 4-1

 (4) Hawkesbury vs (5) Kemptville

KEM won 4-2

Mar. 17, HAW 6-2

Mar. 19, KEM 5-3

Mar. 21, HAW 4-3 OT

Mar. 23, KEM 4-0

Mar. 24, KEM 6-3

Mar. 26, KEM 4-3 OT

 

 

Cmunt delivers overtime heroics, Canadians one win away from Bogart Cup

Daniel Vazzoler

Justin Cmunt’s strong playoffs continued Friday night as he scored a pair of goals in Game Four for the Carleton Place Canadians, including the overtime goal to give his team a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Jr. Senators and a 3-1 series lead in the Bogart Cup Finals.

Cmunt opened the scoring in the first period, finishing off a quick passing play from Antoine Desmeules and Geoff Kitt with a shot through Ian Andriano’s five-hole.

But, most importantly for Carleton Place, he finished off the scoring early into the second-overtime period with a wrist shot past Andriano on the glove side of the Ottawa goaltender.

“It felt great, probably the biggest goal I’ve scored, honestly,” Cmunt said about scoring the game-winning goal. “It’s huge, coming in here to go back home up 3-1 on Sunday. In the first overtime intermission, we said we came here and we’re going to get the job done, we’re not losing.”

That’s exactly what happened as Will Cullen and Cmunt entered the Jr. Sens zone, leading to the winning goal.

“(Ottawa) turned the puck over near our blue-line and (Shawn) Kennedy went to go grab it. I was just coming off the bench and Cullen ended up picking it up and threw it to me. I just walked in and kind of looking Cullen off a little bit and fired it.”

“It was definitely exciting (when he scored),” said Andrew Dodson. “When you’re that tired, and in a game like that, you’re always wondering who’s going to finish it and Cmunt had a hell of a game and has been clutch for us all playoffs. We’re lucky enough that he finished it off for us.”

Canadians coach Jason Clarke compared his team’s performance to Jekyll and Hyde. He said he thought the Canadians played well to start the game before Ottawa flipped the script and played well until the end of regulation time.

“When you’re playing like that, your goaltender has got to be your best player and he was our best player. Without his performance, there’s no way we win [Friday],” said Clarke.

In each of the Canadians three wins in the series, Connor Hughes has played well in goal for Carleton Place – and one more effort like his 45-save performance on Friday could be enough to help the Canadians claim their fourth consecutive Bogart Cup championship.

“I wasn’t happy with my first game performance and I just realized it’s the playoffs, it’s the last series and it’s my last junior year,” Hughes said. “I just thought I might as well make the most of it and battle back.”

Nicolas Samson tied the game early into the second period and Devon Daniels gave Ottawa the lead with a perfectly placed shot that rang off the post and into the net. Connor Hill scored with 2:15 left in regulation on a partial breakaway to send the game into overtime and help them escape with a win.

“We knew we didn’t play our A-game and we knew some bad goal was going to happen and we just had to stick with it,” Dodson said. “We didn’t give up, which was good to see – in a series like this you never want to give up – and we stuck with it for the full 60 minutes and kept pressuring them to get that late goal.”

Carleton Place now has a chance to claim a fourth-straight playoff title on home ice Sunday at 3:30 p.m. but it knows a tough task stands between them and a championship.

“We’re going to have to play our best game of the series,” Clarke said. “Ottawa’s a very good team, they’ve got a lot of character in the room and they know how to deal with adversity, as they did [Friday] through the game, and we’re going to have to make sure we’re on our best for sure.”

“We’ve got to dig deep, all the guys are pretty tired right now, but we’ve got a day to rest,” said Dodson. “We’ve always played well at home but their backs are against the wall, so they’re going to come out flying and we’ve got to be ready for them. Fingers crossed, we’ll get it done on Sunday.”

Road to the Bogart Cup

* = if necessary

Date in bold = home game for top seed

Date = home game for lower seed

Bogart Cup Finals

(1) Carleton Place vs (3) Ottawa

CPC leads 3-1

Apr. 15, OTT 5-2

Apr. 16, CPC 3-2

Apr. 19, CPC 4-3

Apr. 21, CPC 3-2 2OT

Apr. 23, 3:30 p.m. Carleton Place Arena

Apr. 25, 7:30 p.m. Jim Durrell Complex *

Apr. 26, 7:30 Carleton Place Arena *

Semi-finals

(1) Carleton Place vs (5) Kemptville

CPC won 4-2

Mar. 31, KEM 3-2 OT

Apr. 2, CPC 4-1

Apr. 5, KEM 4-1

Apr. 6, CPC 4-1

Apr. 8, CPC 3-2 OT

Apr. 9, CPC 6-1

 (2) Cornwall vs (3) Ottawa

OTT won 4-0

Mar. 30, OTT 5-1

Apr. 1, OTT 2-1

Apr. 4, OTT 4-1

Apr. 5, OTT 4-3

Quarter-finals

(1) Carleton Place vs (8) Nepean

CPC won 4-1

Mar. 17, CPC 6-4

Mar. 19, NEP 3-2

Mar. 21, CPC 6-3

Mar. 22, CPC 4-0

Mar. 24, CPC 4-1

 (2) Cornwall vs (7) Smiths Falls

COR won 4-1

Mar. 16, COR 4-3 OT

Mar. 17 COR 4-3 2OT

Mar. 19, COR 6-0

Mar. 21, SMF 3-2

Mar. 23, COR 5-3

 (3) Ottawa vs (6) Brockville

OTT won 4-1

Mar. 15, OTT 2-1 OT

Mar. 17, OTT 2-1 2OT

Mar. 18, BRO 3-0

Mar. 21, OTT 6-2

Mar. 23, OTT 4-1

 (4) Hawkesbury vs (5) Kemptville

KEM won 4-2

Mar. 17, HAW 6-2

Mar. 19, KEM 5-3

Mar. 21, HAW 4-3 OT

Mar. 23, KEM 4-0

Mar. 24, KEM 6-3

Mar. 26, KEM 4-3 OT

 

Canadians win Game Three to take series lead

Daniel Vazzoler

It was a slow, choppy game on Wednesday night at the Carleton Place Arena, but the Carleton Place Canadians withstood it to pick up a 4-3 win over the Ottawa Jr. Senators to take a 2-1 series lead in the Bogart Cup Finals.

Carleton Place had a strong first period in the eyes of their coach Jason Clarke, as he called it their “best period of the playoffs,” and they were able to get an early lead out of the lead.

But it seemed as the Canadians started to gain momentum in the game, Ottawa found their way back into it to take the energy out of the 343 in attendance.

“We’ve just got to stop playing on our heels. I find that every time we get a little bit comfortable with the lead, we end up going back on our heels – and when you’re playing a team like Ottawa, you’ve got to put the pedal to the metal. You can’t protect the lead against Ottawa, you’ve got to come with the same amount of speed and the same amount of pressure,” Clarke said.

Shawn Kennedy gave Carleton Place the lead 7:27 into the opening period. He gathered in a loose puck before turning and firing it through Ian Andriano’s five-hole. The lead lasted until late in the first when Isaac Anderson stopped up low in the Canadians zone and beat Connor Hughes with a quick wrist shot low to the glove side.

The Canadians received a fortunate bounce early into the second period off of a Jr. Sens turnover. Sam Knoblauch got the puck just outside of the Ottawa zone and sent Geoff Kitt in on a shorthanded breakaway. Kitt nearly fell backwards as he went to make a move to beat Andriano, but he was able to slide the puck past the goaltender.

“I was in a little bit of a slump here, but it’s all about wins at this time of the year,” said Kitt. “I’m doing the right things out there and the points will come when you’re playing hard, but it felt nice to get the go-ahead goal for sure.”

Brent Hill added to the lead with a power play goal coming just six seconds into the man-advantage with a shot along the ice that beat a screened Andriano.

“We had some good specialty teams output, which is nice,” Connor Merkley said of the Canadians, who were perfect on the penalty kill and 1-for-2 on the power play. “In the playoffs it’s big for you to get a power play goal or a short handed goal here or there to help with the scoreboard a little bit.”

Carleton Place took a lead into the third period, but before the end of the second period Anderson scored his second goal of the game as he tipped in the Jaren Burke shot at the side of the net.

Knoblauch added some much need insurance early in the third period that proved to be the game-winning goal with Teddy Simson scoring late in the third period as the extra attacker on the ice, chipping a puck over Hughes’s shoulder and having the puck barely cross the goal-line.

The goaltenders in this series have been the difference makers in each of the first two games and, although each appeared to struggle for mere moments on Wednesday, that trend continued in Game Three with both Hughes and Andriano making stellar saves when required.

“Andriano was really good in the first period and we snuck a couple (goals) by him, but that’s just the way it is. He made three saves in the first period that no goalie in our league would make. It could have been over in the first period but he was fantastic,” said Clarke.

“Hughes was fantastic tonight, I mean two goals were odd, weird goals. The saves he did make, he made them look really easy and he made a couple of big saves. Hughes has been fantastic in back-to-back games in Games Two and Three,” Clarke continued.

The series will continue on Friday as Game Four will take place at the Jim Durrell Complex where the Canadians will look to take a 3-1 series lead on the road and set up a chance to claim their fourth straight Bogart Cup on home ice – a place where the Canadians, surprisingly, haven’t played their best in the playoffs so far.

“For whatever reason, we’ve been struggling at home and we’ve worked all year to have home-ice advantage so it was nice to get a win here at home in front of the fans. But we have to stick with it with another big game coming up on Friday going into their barn. They’re going to be hungry and they’re going to be ready, like they always are, and they’ll be moving their feet so it will be a good test.”

Road to the Bogart Cup

* = if necessary

Date in bold = home game for top seed

Date = home game for lower seed

Bogart Cup Finals

(1) Carleton Place vs (3) Ottawa

CPC leads 2-1

Apr. 15, OTT 5-2

Apr. 16, CPC 3-2

Apr. 19, CPC 4-3

Apr. 21, 7:30 p.m. Jim Durrell Complex

Apr. 23, 3:30 p.m. Carleton Place Arena

Apr. 25, 7:30 p.m. Jim Durrell Complex *

Apr. 26, 7:30 Carleton Place Arena *

Semi-finals

(1) Carleton Place vs (5) Kemptville

CPC won 4-2

Mar. 31, KEM 3-2 OT

Apr. 2, CPC 4-1

Apr. 5, KEM 4-1

Apr. 6, CPC 4-1

Apr. 8, CPC 3-2 OT

Apr. 9, CPC 6-1

 (2) Cornwall vs (3) Ottawa

OTT won 4-0

Mar. 30, OTT 5-1

Apr. 1, OTT 2-1

Apr. 4, OTT 4-1

Apr. 5, OTT 4-3

Quarter-finals

(1) Carleton Place vs (8) Nepean

CPC won 4-1

Mar. 17, CPC 6-4

Mar. 19, NEP 3-2

Mar. 21, CPC 6-3

Mar. 22, CPC 4-0

Mar. 24, CPC 4-1

 (2) Cornwall vs (7) Smiths Falls

COR won 4-1

Mar. 16, COR 4-3 OT

Mar. 17 COR 4-3 2OT

Mar. 19, COR 6-0

Mar. 21, SMF 3-2

Mar. 23, COR 5-3

 (3) Ottawa vs (6) Brockville

OTT won 4-1

Mar. 15, OTT 2-1 OT

Mar. 17, OTT 2-1 2OT

Mar. 18, BRO 3-0

Mar. 21, OTT 6-2

Mar. 23, OTT 4-1

 (4) Hawkesbury vs (5) Kemptville

KEM won 4-2

Mar. 17, HAW 6-2

Mar. 19, KEM 5-3

Mar. 21, HAW 4-3 OT

Mar. 23, KEM 4-0

Mar. 24, KEM 6-3

Mar. 26, KEM 4-3 OT

 

Canadians score big and assist Carleton Place Hospital

Daniel Vazzoler

The Carleton Place Canadians, along with Bean Motors, gave a big assist to the Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital this season.

Keith Bean, owner of Bean Motors, and Jason Clarke, coach of the Canadians, came up with the idea of doing a charity initiative together. For every Canadians goal scored in the 2016-17 Central Canada Hockey League regular season, Bean donated $20 to the hospital’s foundation.

With Carleton Place scoring 252 goals this season, a cheque for $5,040 was presented by Clarke and Andre Roy, from Bean Motors, to Rob Probert, representing the hospital, prior to the Canadians starting their Bogart Cup Finals series against the Ottawa Jr. Senators on Apr. 15.

“Just sitting down with Jason Clarke, we both like to support the hospital – it’s a charity that we both like to support,” Bean said when the partnership was announced. “We try to do a lot of these things to get people involved, remind them that we’re here for sure, but, really, we just want to support the Canadians and make sure that they stay. It’s good for the economy, it’s good for the people and it’s fun to go watch a hockey game.”

“Keith Bean has been a very active guy in our community ever since coming in and taking over the dealership and he’s a well-respected businessman in our community,” said Clarke. “It was his idea to come up with. He wanted to see some money go back to the hospital.”

With the hospital undergoing renovations and expansions at the moment, as well as continuing to need various pieces of equipment that totals over $330,000, the money going to the hospital foundation will surely be a great help.

For those who are interested in how to support the foundation, visit http://www.carletonplacehospital.ca/waystogive to find more information.

Hughes bounces back in big Game Two victory

Daniel Vazzoler

After an unimpressive start to the Bogart Cup Finals, Connor Hughes showed off why he had such gaudy numbers in the regular season on Sunday in a 3-2 win for the Carleton Place Canadians to tie the series at 1-1.

Hughes had to face 36 shots on Sunday against the Ottawa Jr. Senators and, after allowing the first goal less than a minute into the game, he made several big saves to ensure the Canadians didn’t fall too far back. One of those saves came in the first period, moments after Carleton Place tied the game. Ottawa came into the zone on a 2-on-1 rush and Hughes slid post-to-post to stop a glorious scoring opportunity.

In the second period, shortly after the Canadians took the lead, Hughes made an important save against Nicolas Samson on a penalty shot. Samson tried to beat Hughes with a quick wrist shot but Hughes stayed at the edge of the crease to challenge him and then made a clean catch on the shot.

“I thought our best player tonight was our goaltender and that penalty shot save was a game-changer,” Canadians coach Jason Clarke said. “It was a total momentum-changer, the boys were fired up. Hughes was fantastic, a very good game for him.”

It was eerie start to the game for Carleton Place as the crowd at the Jim Durrell Complex was given something to cheer about 0:47 into the game as Hubert Delisle tapped home a rebound from the Jaren Burke shot.

Will Cullen gave the Canadians supporters at the rink something to cheer about five minutes later as he ripped a wrist shot over Ian Andriano’s blocker-side shoulder to tie the game at 1-1 in the first period.

The two teams went into the intermission tied, but Samuel Knoblauch jammed a loose puck into the net while battling for space in front of Andriano.

“When you get below the goal-line like that, you just try to take it to the net, just keep whacking at it and hopefully it goes in,” Knoblauch said. “I’ve done that a few times this year, and this time it ended up going in.”

Knoblauch helped extend the Canadians lead late in the second period. The Jr. Sens had a few chances around the Canadians net in the last two minutes of the period – including one that rang off the post that sent the crowd into a frenzy – but Shawn Kennedy finished off a 2-on-1 rush with Knoblauch to make it 3-1.

Knoblauch’s two-point night was enough for him to be named first star of the game on Sunday.

“It always feels good to contribute. My line-mates played really well, I thought we had a good game, I got a couple bounces and it worked out.”

Merrick Rippon fired a wrist shot past Hughes low on the glove side 0:44 into the third period to make it a more nervous final frame for the Canadians supporters, but Hughes stopped each of the other 11 shots he faced in the third.

“In playoffs, you always need a hot goalie and he definitely proved himself,” Andrew Dodson said about Hughes. “He was down [Saturday] but he had a great game [Sunday]. He made some key saves at the end that kept us in it and that’s what we need going ahead.”

Andriano has been giving Ottawa outstanding goaltending so far in the playoffs. Even though he gets tagged with the loss on his record, he made several tremendous stops in the third period to limit the deficit to one goal – including his own cross-crease save to take away a sure goal.

But, according to Clarke, don’t expect to see any changes to the attack from Carleton Place on Wednesday for Game Three.

“I just think we need to continue to do the stuff we’re doing right now (to beat him). We’re getting a lot of shots – Ottawa’s the team that gives up the least amount of shots in our league, I think in the regular season they gave up 20, 21 shots a game – in the first two games we’ve had over 35 shots per game. We just have to continue what we’re doing and try even still to get more pucks to the net.”

The series comes back to the Carleton Place Arena with a 7:30 p.m. puck-drop before returning to Ottawa for Game Four on Friday, also at 7:30 p.m. The winner of this series will be the CCHL representative at the Fred Page Cup, the Eastern Canada tournament to see who will get a chance to compete at the national RBC Cup.

Fans of either team won’t have to travel too far to support their team at these tournaments with the Fred Page Cup being hosted by Terrebonne, Que. and Cobourg, Ont. hosting the RBC Cup.

Road to the Bogart Cup

* = if necessary

Date in bold = home game for top seed

Date = home game for lower seed

Bogart Cup Finals

(1) Carleton Place vs (3) Ottawa

Series tied 1-1

Apr. 15, OTT 5-2

Apr. 16, CPC 3-2

Apr. 19, 7:30 p.m. Carleton Place Arena

Apr. 21, 7:30 p.m. Jim Durrell Complex

Apr. 23, 3:30 p.m. Carleton Place Arena *

Apr. 25, 7:30 p.m. Jim Durrell Complex *

Apr. 26, 7:30 Carleton Place Arena *

Semi-finals

(1) Carleton Place vs (5) Kemptville

CPC won 4-2

Mar. 31, KEM 3-2 OT

Apr. 2, CPC 4-1

Apr. 5, KEM 4-1

Apr. 6, CPC 4-1

Apr. 8, CPC 3-2 OT

Apr. 9, CPC 6-1

 (2) Cornwall vs (3) Ottawa

OTT won 4-0

Mar. 30, OTT 5-1

Apr. 1, OTT 2-1

Apr. 4, OTT 4-1

Apr. 5, OTT 4-3

Quarter-finals

(1) Carleton Place vs (8) Nepean

CPC won 4-1

Mar. 17, CPC 6-4

Mar. 19, NEP 3-2

Mar. 21, CPC 6-3

Mar. 22, CPC 4-0

Mar. 24, CPC 4-1

 (2) Cornwall vs (7) Smiths Falls

COR won 4-1

Mar. 16, COR 4-3 OT

Mar. 17 COR 4-3 2OT

Mar. 19, COR 6-0

Mar. 21, SMF 3-2

Mar. 23, COR 5-3

 (3) Ottawa vs (6) Brockville

OTT won 4-1

Mar. 15, OTT 2-1 OT

Mar. 17, OTT 2-1 2OT

Mar. 18, BRO 3-0

Mar. 21, OTT 6-2

Mar. 23, OTT 4-1

 (4) Hawkesbury vs (5) Kemptville

KEM won 4-2

Mar. 17, HAW 6-2

Mar. 19, KEM 5-3

Mar. 21, HAW 4-3 OT

Mar. 23, KEM 4-0

Mar. 24, KEM 6-3

Mar. 26, KEM 4-3 OT

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