1 2 3 82

Canadians pick up physicality and win in Game Three

Daniel Vazzoler

The Carleton Place Canadians picked up an all-important 6-3 victory Tuesday in Game Three of their CCHL quarter-final series against the Nepean Raiders to take a 2-1 series lead.

After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, the Canadians came out strong to start the second period. A pair of hits from Connor Hill and Adam Donnelly looked like momentum shifters in the game, and the Canadians pressure on the puck ultimately led to them finding the scoreboard.

Donnelly said the physical aspect of the game can turn momentum in that team’s favour.

“If we can play a physical game, we’re going to roll and do what we do as a team – just muck it up in their end and get to the net,” he said.

“In the playoffs, momentum can ride you to where you want to go or where you don’t want to go, so I thought when we just got back to moving our feet and playing hockey the way we like to play – not over-complicating things – it seemed to be a lot better,” Canadians assistant captain Connor Merkley said.

While some of the Canadians players looked at their success in Game Three due, in part, to the physical play, their coach looked at what being physical meant defensively for his team.

“I don’t think that the physical side was a big part for us,” Jason Clarke said. “I think the big part for us was that we were taking time and space away when we didn’t have the puck. If there was a turnover, or they (Nepean) went to the weak-side, we got into areas really quickly. We competed.”

The game didn’t start the way the Canadians, or the majority of the 413 at the Carleton Place Arena, wanted it to as a pair of goals from the road team had the Raiders leading 2-0 after one period of play.

P.J. Heger opened the scoring, deflecting in the Malcolm Arseneau shot on the power play with just under six minutes to go in the first period. Arseneau then added his own goal, his third of the series, benefitting from a collision between Connor Hughes and Tim Theocharidis at the side of the net. Arseneau set himself up on the opposite side and had an open net waiting for him when he got the puck.

Bad bounces have been something Hughes has had to deal with in the first three games of the series.

“It’s tough, but it’s part of my job just to deal with those bounces because I know they’re going to happen and they’re working hard, so they’re earning those bounces,” he said.

While Hughes wasn’t tested much in terms of the quantity of shots he faced in the opening period, the quality of the seven shots Nepean sent his way had him visibly frustrated with the way Carleton Place was playing in front of him as he was forced to make a number of big saves.

“He’s just an intense guy, like most of us are out there, and he didn’t like how things were going. He had to make some uncharacteristic saves for our defensive zone,” said Merkley. “It probably could have been 4-0 after that first period but he made some big saves for us and held us in there tight … You can’t blame a guy for being intense and wanting to win, that’s what you love to see.”

The emotions of their goaltender seemed to wake up the Canadians in the second period as they played with a level of intensity that hadn’t been seen since the first period of Game One. The desperation and physical play Carleton Place had in the middle period led to their three goals in the middle period.

First, Justin Cmunt got the Andrew Dodson pass right in the slot and whistled a wrist shot past the blocker of Marshall Frappier. Just under 10 minutes later, Shawn Kennedy spotted Hill at the back post with a beautiful pass through the traffic in front, allowing Hill to tuck his shot just under the cross-bar.

Zack Tupker put the Canadians in front with 2:31 to go in the second period as a bouncing puck ended up on his stick in the slot and quickly got shot at Frappier, who didn’t have time to react to the shot that beat him on the blocker side.

Clarke called getting the lead before the third period “very important.”

“We needed to respond and respond the right way,” he said. “I just liked the way we moved our feet and when we didn’t have the puck, we were taking a lot of time and space away. I think the best thing we did was how we skated without the puck. All series long, we haven’t really taken a lot of time and space away when we haven’t had the puck, and I thought that was our biggest (Tuesday).”

Balanced scoring was a big part of the regular season for Carleton Place, and it showed up again on Tuesday with six different players scoring goals, and the fourth line of Donnelly, Tupker and Joey Warywoda combined for five points with Warywoda earning first star after his three-assist night.

“We always talk about how, in the playoffs, it doesn’t matter who’s scoring as long as we’re getting that win,” Merkley said. “That’s all that matters, personal statistics don’t mean a thing in the playoffs, it’s all about team.

“But you love to see a guy like Adam Donnelly crack a goal in there. He seemed to be gripping the stick a little tight around the net after he came back from injury – which happens – but he had a great tip on that goal,” he added. “Obviously Joey had a great game with some offensive contribution. We have that ability to get offence and get good stuff from all four lines, which is nice.”

“It felt good (to score), but at this point of the season it doesn’t really matter who puts it in,” Donnelly said. “It’s just a point for your team and you’ve got to get going. A win’s a win and we’re happy with it.”

Brent Hill added a power play goal late, before Alex Friesen sealed the victory with an empty-net goal.

Carleton Place will look to carry Tuesday’s momentum into Game Four on Wednesday night, back at the Nepean Sportsplex, and try to take a 3-1 series lead over the Raiders.

Around the League

* = if necessary

Date in bold = home game for top seed

Date = home game for lower seed

(1) Carleton Place vs (8) Nepean

CPC leads 2-1

Mar. 17, CPC 6-4

Mar. 19, 2:30 p.m. NEP 3-2

Mar. 21, 7:30 p.m. CPC 6-3

Mar. 22, 7:30 p.m. Nepean Sportsplex

Mar. 24, 7:30 p.m. Carleton Place Arena

Mar. 26, 2:30 p.m. Nepean Sportsplex *

Mar. 28, 7:30 p.m. Carleton Place Arena *

(2) Cornwall vs (7) Smiths Falls

COR leads 3-1

Mar. 16, COR 4-3 OT

Mar. 17 COR 4-3 2OT

Mar. 19, COR 6-0

Mar. 21, SMF 3-2

Mar. 23, Ed Lumley Arena

Mar. 24, Smiths Falls Memorial Centre *

Mar. 28, Ed Lumley Arena *

(3) Ottawa vs (6) Brockville

OTT leads 3-1

Mar. 15, OTT 2-1 OT

Mar. 17, OTT 2-1 2OT

Mar. 18, BRO 3-0

Mar. 21, OTT 6-2

Mar. 23, Jim Durrell Complex

Mar. 24, Brockville Memorial Centre *

Mar. 26, Jim Durrell Complex *

(4) Hawkesbury vs (5) Kemptville

HAW leads 2-1

Mar. 17, HAW 6-2

Mar. 19, KEM 5-3

Mar. 21, HAW 4-3 OT

Mar. 23, North Grenville Municipal Centre

Mar. 24, Robert Hartley Sports Complex

Mar. 26, North Grenville Municipal Centre *

Mar. 28, Robert Hartley Sports Complex *

Canadians compete level questioned following Game Two loss

Daniel Vazzoler

The Carleton Place Canadians and Nepean Raiders are now tied 1-1 in their quarter-final series after the Raiders beat the Canadians 3-2 for a Game Two victory on Sunday.

The loss was the first for Carleton Place after an 18-game winning streak and, while the loss itself may raise some cause for concern, the way the team played is what troubled Canadians coach Jason Clarke.

“We got outcompeted,” he said. “If we want to play playoff hockey, we’ve got to compete and I just didn’t like our compete level in the second and third period.”

While it would be easy for some fans to see a reason for a lowered sense of urgency for the Canadians – playing a team that is the eighth-seed and finished 47 points behind Carleton Place in the standings – games against Nepean this year have been close meetings, all being one- or two-goal games besides the first two meetings of the year.

“I don’t think there’s any easy series, we’ve got a lot of respect for our opponent and we understand that they’ve got just as good a chance to win this league as anybody. It’s playoffs, regular season doesn’t mean anything. The big thing for us is, we spent a lot of time down in the offensive zone and we had some good chances but we need to compete hard or play a little bit more desperate hockey to start burying some of those second and third chances that we’ve had,” said Clarke.

For back-to-back games to start the series, Carleton Place jumped ahead early in the game – courtesy of a power play goal from Connor Merkley – but were unable to hold onto their lead, or add to it, this time around.

Also for the second straight game, it was Malcolm Arseneau who scored the Raiders first goal. This time, it was to tie the game late in the first period. He took advantage of a turnover at the Nepean blue-line and he had nothing but open ice between him and Connor Hughes. Aresneau’s quick move was enough to beat Hughes and leveled the score at 1-1 with under five minutes to play in the opening period.

P.J. Heger’s power play goal midway through the second period gave Nepean its first lead of the series, and gave the Raiders some momentum in the game.

“They capitalized on their chances and, this playoff series, we know that we’ve had some mental lapses,” Canadians captain Andrew Dodson said. “We knew we were going to get a tough game but they played well and outworked us.”

The Canadians tied the game with a laser-like wrist shot from Connor Hill that beat Marshall Frappier before ringing off the bottom half of the cross-bar and into the net.

The score remained tied heading into the third period, but Kevin Groulx got credit for the game-winning goal 5:36 into the final frame. Hughes tried to steer away a Bailey Brant point shot, but the puck hit off of Groulx in behind the Canadians goalie and into the net.

Carleton Place had chances late in the game to tie things up once again, but the 17-year-old between the pipes for Nepean stood tall, stopping the 10 shots he faced in the third period.

“We had quite a few chances to score, but again it was just our compete (level),” Clarke reiterated. “We had a couple of loose pucks sitting there in the slot area and Nepean sticks get on it and Nepean guys are blocking shots when we had some pretty good chances to score. We need to play a little more desperate hockey.”

Dodson sounded confident in his team’s ability to bounce back after games like this and put some perspective into the loss.

“We’ve just got to bear down, some of us might be gripping our stick to hard and stuff, but it’s a long series and we’re going to turn it around and hopefully bury our chances,” he said.

The physical play was more evident on Nepean’s side than for Carleton Place, but Clarke said he isn’t worried about that since, “if teams are being physical on you, it means you have the puck.”

Dodson said the Canadians were expecting an uptick in the Raiders physicality with the series heading to the Nepean Sportsplex for Game Two.

“They’re a pretty big team who try to play physical, but sometimes they can be a little over-physical,” said Dodson. “We’ve just got to stick to our game-plan, move pucks and play around that.”

Carleton Place doesn’t have a lot of time to reflect on the loss as Game Three is Tuesday night at the Carleton Place Arena for the first of two games in back-to-back nights with Nepean hosting Game Four Wednesday night.

Around the League

* = if necessary

Date in bold = home game for top seed

Date = home game for lower seed

(1) Carleton Place vs (8) Nepean

Tied 1-1

 

Mar. 17, CPC 6-4

Mar. 19, 2:30 p.m. NEP 3-2

Mar. 21, 7:30 p.m. Carleton Place Arena

Mar. 22, 7:30 p.m. Nepean Sportsplex

Mar. 24, 7:30 p.m. Carleton Place Arena *

Mar. 26, 2:30 p.m. Nepean Sportsplex *

Mar. 28, 7:30 p.m. Carleton Place Arena *

(2) Cornwall vs (7) Smiths Falls

COR leads 3-0

 

Mar. 16, COR 4-3 OT

Mar. 17 COR 4-3 2OT

Mar. 19, COR 6-0

Mar. 21, Smiths Falls Memorial Centre

Mar. 23, Ed Lumley Arena *

Mar. 24, Smiths Falls Memorial Centre *

Mar. 28, Ed Lumley Arena *

(3) Ottawa vs (6) Brockville

OTT leads 2-1

 

Mar. 15, OTT 2-1 OT

Mar. 17, OTT 2-1 2OT

Mar. 18, BRO 3-0

Mar. 21, Brockville Memorial Centre

Mar. 23, Jim Durrell Complex *

Mar. 24, Brockville Memorial Centre *

Mar. 26, Jim Durrell Complex *

 

(4) Hawkesbury vs (5) Kemptville

Tied 1-1

 

Mar. 17, HAW 6-2

Mar. 19, KEM 5-3

Mar. 21, Robert Hartley Sports Complex

Mar. 23, North Grenville Municipal Centre

Mar. 24, Robert Hartley Sports Complex *

Mar. 26, North Grenville Municipal Centre *

Mar. 28, Robert Hartley Sports Complex *

Canadians overcome mid-game scare to pick up Game One win

Daniel Vazzoler

The quarter-final series between the Carleton Place Canadians and Nepean Raiders got underway on Friday, and if anyone left after the first period, they missed quite an interesting game.

Carleton Place showed why they won a fourth-straight CCHL regular season title, finishing 47 points ahead of the Raiders in the standings, in the first period. They dominated their way to a 4-0 lead into the opening period and outshot Nepean 16-4 in that time.

The scoring got started quickly as Alex Friesen put Carleton Place up 2:46 into the game. Justin Cmunt lobbed the puck out to centre-ice and got a favourable bounce to get it to Friesen. Corey Tam tried to jump up and get the puck, but it jumped over his stick and got to the speedy Canadians winger. Friesen had room to show off that speed and unleashed a quick wrist shot off the post and in past Kyle Alaverdy.

Tim Theocharidis added to lead less than four minutes later with a long shot from the blue-line that eluded Alaverdy.

“I got the puck real quick and I just saw a white jersey in front of the net all alone,” the Canadians defenceman said. “I just tried to direct the puck to the net, not even get it off the ice, maybe just pass it to him. I was about to get hit, so I sort of turned to absorb the hit and I didn’t even see the puck go in.”

Connor Merkley then scored a pair of goals, and it’s a good thing style points are awarded for goals.

“It’s always nice to score, but I wouldn’t say they were good goals by any means,” Merkley, one of the Canadians assistant captains said. “One off the knee cap, but sometimes you’ve got to score goals like that. In the playoffs, goals are hard to come by so you take them anyway they come.”

After Merkley’s second goal, a one-timer that he somewhat fanned on, Alaverdy had his night come to an early end as he was replaced by Marshall Frappier.

The Canadians started the second period with the momentum, but a 1:03 stretch early in the middle frame made the 389 at the Carleton Place a lot more nervous than they were when the period started.

Nepean struck for three quick goals and cut the four-goal deficit down to just one. Malcolm Arseneau put the Raiders on the board 5:02 into the second period with a power play goal. His long wrist shot from the blue-line got through the traffic in front of Connor Hughes. Geoff Dempster scored 0:33 later with a wrist shot from a bad angle that beat Hughes on the short-side before Felix Brassard scored his first of two goals in the game.

“Sometimes you just get a little bit shell-shocked when they get that one (goal) and you end up getting on your heels,” Merkley said. “As soon as you get on your heels, you’re dead in the water and it just seemed like we were making small mistakes and they were ending up in the back of our net, but it’s a learning lesson and, lucky for us, we didn’t have to pay for it.”

Friesen scored his second goal of the game late in the second period to restore the two-goal lead. Will Cullen rushed the puck into the zone on the power play and Friesen made a nice play to take the puck off the end boards, put the puck between his legs and set himself up for a jam play at the side of the net.

A one-timer from Brassard in the slot beat Hughes on the glove side and made it a 5-4 game going into the third period.

Canadians head coach Jason Clarke said he thought his team played well in the first period, but that they got complacent in the second period and let the Raiders back into the game.

“Nepean came out hard, they’ve got a lot of pride, they’re coached by a guy that also has a lot of pride and they came out and banged us, created a few turnovers and they were the better team in the second period,” Clarke said. “To be honest, I thought they were the better team for probably 40 minutes out of the 60. We have to bear down and respect our opponent and I think we have to make sure we’re dialed in and just play our game.”

The score stayed at a one-goal difference until late in the third period when Theocharidis capped off his four-point night with his second goal of the game – scored in similar style as his first.

“It was a good, little insurance goal and I think it gave the boys a little cushion,” he said. “We still had to play hard right to the buzzer, (but) it just relieved some pressure for the guys.”

The starting goalies were a big part of the story in this game, but not exactly the way either of them wanted to be. Alaverdy allowed four goals on 10 shots in 13:52 of action before Frappier came in to stop 32 of 34 shots he faced.

Hughes stopped 20 of 24 shots against him to get the win but, while Friday wasn’t one of his better games as a Canadian, Clarke said he isn’t concerned at all moving forward.

“He’ll be much better than he was (Friday). He was very average, he knows that. He’s a big boy, he understands when he’s good and when he’s not good, he wasn’t very good (Friday) … Hughes has always bounced back after an average performance all year long. We’ll expect Hughes to be real good on Sunday.”

The series continues on Sunday as it enters a tough stretch of three games in four days. Game Two is at the Nepean Sportsplex at 2:30 p.m. before returning to the Carleton Place Arena on Tuesday for Game Three.

Around the League

* = if necessary

Date in bold = home game for top seed

Date = home game for lower seed

(1) Carleton Place vs (8) Nepean

CPC leads 1-0

Mar. 17, CPC 6-4

Mar. 19, 2:30 p.m. Nepean Sportsplex

Mar. 21, 7:30 p.m. Carleton Place Arena

Mar. 22, 7:30 p.m. Nepean Sportsplex

Mar. 24, 7:30 p.m. Carleton Place Arena *

Mar. 26, 2:30 p.m. Nepean Sportsplex *

Mar. 28, 7:30 p.m. Carleton Place Arena *

(2) Cornwall vs (7) Smiths Falls

COR leads 2-0

Mar. 16, COR 4-3 OT

Mar. 17 COR 4-3 2OT

Mar. 19, Ed Lumley Arena

Mar. 21, Smiths Falls Memorial Centre

Mar. 23, Ed Lumley Arena *

Mar. 24, Smiths Falls Memorial Centre *

Mar. 28, Ed Lumley Arena *

(3) Ottawa vs (6) Brockville

OTT leads 2-0

Mar. 15, OTT 2-1 OT

Mar. 17, OTT 2-1 2OT

Mar. 18, Jim Durrell Complex

Mar. 21, Brockville Memorial Centre

Mar. 23, Jim Durrell Complex *

Mar. 24, Brockville Memorial Centre *

Mar. 26, Jim Durrell Complex *

 

(4) Hawkesbury vs (5) Kemptville

HAW leads 1-0

 Mar. 17, HAW 6-2

Mar. 19, North Grenville Municipal Centre

Mar. 21, Robert Hartley Sports Complex

Mar. 23, North Grenville Municipal Centre

Mar. 24, Robert Hartley Sports Complex *

Mar. 26, North Grenville Municipal Centre *

Mar. 28, Robert Hartley Sports Complex *

Long-time Canadians win final regular season home game of their career

Daniel Vazzoler

The Carleton Place Canadians wrapped up their 2016-17 regular season Sunday afternoon and picked up their 50th win of the season with a 4-3 victory over the Brockville Braves.

Not only was the game the final regular season game at the Carleton Place Arena for the Canadians this season, it also marked the end of the regular season careers of a pair of 20-year-olds – Connor Merkley and Andrew Dodson – who have been with the team for each of the past three runs throughout the playoffs.

“Both kids came in here as 17-year-olds and have done everything you could ever ask of any individual to do on a daily basis,” Jason Clarke, Canadians head coach, said about the two longest serving members of the team. “Our program isn’t an easy program to play in and they’ve gone through a lot of personal adversity to get to where they are and how good of players they are.”

Merkley may have been held off the scoresheet on Sunday, but he showed off the versatility he has developed over his time in Carleton Place as he moved to the centre-ice position with Geoff Kitt out of the line-up.

Dodson got an assist on the game’s first goal – a long wrist shot from Will Cullen that beat Yaniv Perets – before leveling the score at 2-2 late in the second period with a power play goal.

Before the game, he was reminiscing on his time in Carleton Place with his teammates and the coaches. After the game, Dodson admitted there were mixed emotions were flowing through him during the game.

“I was super excited but, also, it was tough at the end there,” the Canadians captain said. “It’s the end of my time here and the 20-year-olds were excited to go out there today and finish off strong.”

On Dodson’s power play goal, he took the puck that deflected off the end boards and put the rebound past Perets.

Part of the 543 in attendance at the Carleton Place Arena were Dodson’s parents and he spotted them in the corner to celebrate his goal.

“It was definitely nice (for them to be there), they don’t get to see me play too often and it’s a bit of a roadie. I didn’t know they were coming, so it was definitely a nice surprise,” he said.

After falling behind early in the first period, the Braves struck back with a pair of breakaway goals against Connor Hughes, capitalizing on a pair of Canadians turnovers at the attacking blue-line – which Clarke called “bad bounces.”

“I liked how our leadership on the bench just kind of took over a little bit and settled everybody down,” Clarke said, “It was good to get the 5-on-3 goal – our power play wasn’t very good [Sunday] – it was a bit of a momentum changer … you need to be able to go through some adversity during games and during (playoff) series and I thought we dealt the adversity pretty well.”

The bounces leveled themselves out in the third period with Shawn Kennedy being in the right spot at the right time to knock the puck into the net to put them ahead before Brent Hill scored the game-winning goal, bouncing it in off of Perets.

But Clarke understands his role is more than just coaching hockey, it includes helping his players grow up away from home – something he reflected on with Dodson and Merkley nearing the end of their four years in the franchise.

“The most important part of my thinking of those two guys is how much they’ve matured into fine, young men. You can set hockey aside, our programs about gaining life skills through a game you love and both those kids have turned out to be fine, great, young men and I’m just very, very proud of them.”

After the win, the Canadians can prepare for a playoff series against the Nepean Raiders with Game One slated to start on Friday in Carleton Place.

“Nepean’s just a well-coached hockey team that plays with a lot of structure,” Clarke said. “They play hard, they play physical. They’re going to play the right way and it’s going to be a tight-checking series. We’re going to have to on our best to make sure that we come out with the series win … That’s playoff hockey, regular season doesn’t mean anything. This is just an audition for the playoffs, the real season starts on Friday night.”

Dodson, Merkley and the other 20-year-olds on the Canadians will be looking to wrap up their time in the CCHL by bringing Carleton Place their fourth straight Bogart Cup. Game One of the playoff run will be Friday night with puck drop at 7:30 p.m.

Around the League

* = if necessary

(1) Carleton Place vs (8) Nepean

Mar. 17, 7:30 p.m. Carleton Place Arena

Mar. 19, 2:30 p.m. Nepean Sportsplex

Mar. 21, 7:30 p.m. Carleton Place Arena

Mar. 22, 7:30 p.m. Nepean Sportsplex

Mar. 24, 7:30 p.m. Carleton Place Arena *

Mar. 26, 2:30 p.m. Nepean Sportsplex *

Mar. 28, 7:30 p.m. Carleton Place Arena *

(2) Cornwall vs (7) Smiths Falls

Mar. 16, Ed Lumley Arena

Mar. 17 Smiths Falls Memorial Centre

Mar. 19, Ed Lumley Arena

Mar. 21, Smiths Falls Memorial Centre

Mar. 23, Ed Lumley Arena *

Mar. 24, Smiths Falls Memorial Centre *

Mar. 28, Ed Lumley Arena *

(3) Ottawa vs (6) Brockville

Mar. 15, Jim Durrell Complex

Mar. 17, Brockville Memorial Centre

Mar. 18, Jim Durrell Complex

Mar. 21, Brockville Memorial Centre

Mar. 23, Jim Durrell Complex *

Mar. 24, Brockville Memorial Centre *

Mar. 26, Jim Durrell Complex *

 

(4) Hawkesbury vs (5) Kemptville

Mar. 17, Robert Hartley Sports Complex

Mar. 19, North Grenville Municipal Centre

Mar. 21, Robert Hartley Sports Complex

Mar. 23, North Grenville Municipal Centre

Mar. 24, Robert Hartley Sports Complex *

Mar. 26, North Grenville Municipal Centre *

Mar. 28, Robert Hartley Sports Complex *

Canadians keep perfect over-time record

Daniel Vazzoler

The Carleton Place Canadians have played 61 of 62 games so far this season and they remain the only team in the CCHL without a loss past regulation.

Their unbeaten over-time record was challenged on Sunday against the Smiths Falls Bears, but it took all of eight seconds into the extra period for Carleton Place to win the game.

The Canadians dominated the game offensively, but Bradley Dobson kept the Carleton Place attack at bay as he made 36 saves in the game. Connor Hughes was tested at times on Sunday, and was up to the challenge, making 17 saves to pick up the win.

Carleton Place tripled the Bears in shots in the first period – out-shooting Smiths Falls 16-5 in the opening frame – but was unable to translate that into a lead, even with a pair of power play chances.

Smiths Falls got the game’s first goal midway through the second period. Michael McKenney had the puck in the slot and got off a quick wrist shot. Hughes was able to get a piece of the shot, but not enough to make the save.

Connor Merkley tied the game less than five minutes later with a power play goal for the Canadians. Matt Lombardozzi had his shot blocked before it could get to Dobson and the puck bounced around in the slot. Andrew Dodson knocked the puck over to the side of the net and Merkley had an open net to look at with Dobson trying to find his footing in the crease.

Late in the third period, Adam Donnelly had a chance to get the game-winning goal for the Canadians. The puck moved across the ice to Donnelly and he had what appeared to be an open net in front of him. Dobson reached his paddle back into the middle of the net and knocked the puck out of the air to make the save.

Dobson couldn’t keep the magic going into over-time, however, as Justin Cmunt found a way to beat the Bears goaltender for the win. Cmunt took the face-off and played the puck ahead off the draw. Connor Hill got to the loose puck first and quickly moved it off to Cmunt who came around to the right wing. Cmunt used his speed to take the puck into the attacking zone and made a quick move in the slot to take the puck from his backhand to forehand for a snap shot that beat Dobson on the blocker side for the game-winning goal.

The Canadians have one more game to go in their regular season before the playoffs begin. Smiths Falls is in a battle with the Cumberland Grads and Nepean Raiders for the final two spots in the post season, with the eight-seed facing the Canadians in the first round. Both the Gloucester Rangers and Kanata Lasers mathematically have a chance to make the playoffs, but a Grads win would eliminate both teams.

Six of the eight playoff teams already know they will be playing after Mar. 12, but only the Canadians know where they will end the regular season. The Ottawa Jr. Senators and Cornwall Colts are tied for second place with 85 points and both have two games left to play – neither team can finish lower than third place.

The Hawkesbury Hawks, Brockville Braves and Kemptville 73’s are all battling for positions four to six. Kemptville (66 points) can only finish fifth or sixth, Brockville (67 points) can finish in either of those three positions while the Hawks have the upper hand on getting the last place that has home-ice advantage for the first round as they have 71 points with all three teams having only two games left to play.

Around the League

Visitor                  –              Home

Sun., Mar. 5

Ottawa                 1 – 3       Nepean

Brockville            6 – 3       Cumberland

Hawkesbury      2 – 0       Gloucester

Kemptville         8 – 1       Pembroke

Standings

1 2 3 82