Canadians bounce back in win over Kanata

By: Daniel Vazzoler

The Carleton Place Canadians worked their way back into the win column on Thursday with a 4-1 victory on the road against the Kanata Lasers.

And after Sunday’s loss to Kemptville that coach Jason Clarke described as a disappointing effort, he said the way Carleton Place played Thursday was a good sight.

“I was just looking for guys to compete, and when you compete, you give yourself a chance to win. I think the kids know we can play little bit better with the puck and be a little bit more polished with the puck – maybe make some different decisions and some plays – but we competed,” he said.

A slow start was part of the Canadians demise on Sunday and, while Sam Knoblauch gave his team the lead, it was a relatively slow start once again for Carleton Place.

“I like to think we were prepared for the game today,” said Canadians assistant captain Cade Townend. “We did have a slow start, but we picked it up right away and didn’t waste any time.”

Justin Cmunt extended the Canadians lead to 2-0 early in the second period with a power play goal. Cmunt, playing on the blue-line for the man advantage, took the pass from the corner and one-timed it past Myles Hektor.

Kanata had an opportunity to regain momentum with a 5-on-3 power play. Strong defensive play and goaltending from Jeremie Forget kept the Lasers off the scoreboard.

Carleton Place took advantage of their penalty kill and turned it into a pair of goals. First, Connor Hill got off the schneid with his first goal – and point – of the season, finishing off the passing play between him, Arik Breton and Brent Hill. Then Geoff Kitt ensured a 5-on-3 power play for Carleton Place was successful as he tipped in the wrist shot from Aidan Girduckis late in the middle period.

Forget came close to picking up his first shutout of the season, but, with 1:41 left in the third period, Luca Nocita slipped the puck through Forget’s five-hole on the breakaway to bust up the shutout bid.

For Breton, Thursday was the first time he faced his former team after he was picked up from the Lasers in an off-season trade, but said the game wasn’t anything special to him. He said he felt like it was any other game on the schedule and quickly turned the page to Friday’s game against the Pembroke Lumber Kings.

With Carleton Place starting a week-end of three games in four days, Townend said this win gives them momentum heading into the two remaining games, both at home with Pembroke on Friday and the Cornwall Colts Sunday afternoon. Clarke echoed those same sentiments, but also stressed that the team’s ability to play everyone and not have to shorten the bench should help his team stay energized on Friday.

One of those players was Tier 2 call-up defenceman Danny Griffith.

“It was really exciting,” he said on his first CCHL game. “A lot faster than what I’m used to and it was really fun. It was a good game too.

Griffith played his third game in three days after the Carleton Place Jr Canadians had played Tuesday and Wednesday before he was called into action with the Jr A team on Friday.

“I thought Danny played really well,” said Clarke. “I watched the first four games of the year at Tier 2, and I thought he deserved to be the first guy to get called up and I thought he did a really good job. Kept his game very simple and just competed. He was very good defensively, didn’t get himself in too much trouble and he was quietly very good.”