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Canadians bounce back with big win over Kanata

By: Daniel Vazzoler

After Friday’s shoot-out loss, the Carleton Place Canadians responded with a 7-2 win against the Kanata Lasers on Sunday.

Carleton Place got a 2-0 lead in the first period, but Canadians coach Jason Clarke said he wasn’t pleased with the way his team played in that period. The Canadians answered their coach’s critics and took control of the game with another four unanswered goals to jump out to a 6-0 lead in the first half of the game.

“We got off to a bit of a slow start,” said Clarke. “The first period, I know we were up 2-0, but we didn’t play with a lot of urgency, we didn’t play to our standard and it was good to see the guys come out in the second and third period and absolutely dominate.”

Zach Tupker and Sam Knoblauch scored in the first period but, after the game, the players admitted the first period wasn’t their strongest performance – especially after Friday’s loss to the Nepean Raiders.

“The game we played on Friday wasn’t the greatest and I thought the guys would come out a little stronger,” said assistant captain Tim Theocharidis, “but as the game went on we got stronger, faster, moving our feet and being physical.”

“First period, we were a little not polished with the puck really,” added Justin Cmunt. “We did get lucky getting two goals, but that’s not how we wanted to play that game.”

The meeting in the locker room during the first intermission seemed to light a fire under the Canadians.

Tupker scored his second goal of the game 0:20 into the second period and the Canadians kept rolling after that goal.

Travis Broughman scored 1:24 later and then Sam Allison made it 5-0 less than five minutes later to mark the end of Logan Bateman’s night in the Kanata crease. Gabriel Carriere replaced Bateman and, two minutes into his time in net, Geoff Kitt slipped the puck through the goaltender’s legs for a 6-0 lead.

Kanata scored a pair of goals before the end of the second period with Luca Nocita following a bouncing puck in the slot and knocking it past Jeremie Forget for a power play goal. Connor Rider took advantage of a turnover in the Canadians end and beat Forget with a quick shot to make it a 6-2 game heading to the third period.

“It was just a couple of mental errors that we made and they cost us,” Theocharidis said. “It was our fault and those are parts of the game we’ve got to fix.”

Cmunt added a goal in the third period to wrap up a four-point night where he scored a goal and added three assists.

“I’ve been kind of pressing lately but it feels good and it’s good to set guys up and have them bury for you,” Cmunt said. “But it just matters about the win and the way we played (because) it attributes to everyone else. Yeah, I got the points, but every guy is making plays on other shifts to set that up and give us time and space to make things happen.”

The two teams are set to face off against each other again on Saturday, and it could be a feisty game because of the score and some words that were exchanged between the two benches near the end of the game, according to Clarke.

“They’re probably going to be a little angry because we took it to them pretty good, winning 7-2, and there were a few choice words from their bench to ours at the end of the game,” Clarke added. “It’s hockey, no team likes being embarrassed 7-2 so we’ll just have to act appropriately, play hard and continue to play the way we play.”

Before Saturday’s meeting with the Lasers, the Canadians are on the road against the Cornwall Colts on Thursday night. Saturday’s game against Kanata is a road game for Carleton Place but will be played in Renfrew at the Ma-te-way Centre. The Canadians then return to the Carleton Place Arena on Sunday when they host the Rockland Nationals.