By: Daniel Vazzoler
The Carleton Place Canadians wrapped up their regular season on Friday in dominant fashion with a 12-2 victory over the Navan Grads.
A seven-point game from Sam Knoblauch – two goals, five assists – led the way for Carleton Place as all but two Canadians skaters picked up points. With his performance, Knoblauch finished the season with 87 points to put him second in the CCHL, two points behind David Jankowski of the Hawkesbury Hawks.
Tim Theocharidis, fresh off being named Top Defenceman of the CCHL, also had a strong offensive night. He tallied five assists before being sat down for the third period to rest up before the playoffs. His five points put him atop the league’s defencemen in points and also gave him over 100 points in his three seasons with the Canadians.
Friday’s game didn’t start well for Carleton Place as Coleton Cianci gave the home team the lead just 1:31 into the first period.
Geoff Kitt scored a little more the three minutes later to end a streak of 15 games without a goal. He got his stick on Tim Theocharidis’s shot and the tip took a fortuitous bounce off a Grads defender to beat Joe Giacobbo.
Zach Tupker scored his first of two goals on the night to briefly give the Canadians the lead before Curtis Fabbro capitalized on a 2-on-0 chance created by a collision at centre-ice between a pair of Canadians defenders. Fabbro then came in on the rush and snapped his shot through Jeremie Forget to make the score 2-2 less than nine minutes into the game.
Then the Canadians offence took over, scoring 10 unanswered goals.
Nick Pryce started the scoring with a lovely deke to beat Giacobbo for his fourth goal in 15 games with the Canadians.
Brett Thorne tapped in a Sam Knoblauch pass on the man advantage for a power play goal and then Ben Tupker scored his first goal of two on Friday to give the Canadians a 5-2 lead heading to the second period.
Kitt, Zach, Travis Broughman and Knoblauch each scored in the middle period as Carleton Place continued to take over the game – limiting the Grads to just two shots in the frame.
The Canadians added three goals on seven shots in the third period with Knoblauch and Ben each scoring their second goals of the game and Noah Tooke scored as well.
Seth Carter came in for relief of Giacobbo to start the second period and, while he gave up seven goals in his two periods of work, the score could have been worse had it not been for a number of highlight-reel saves.
Carleton Place came into Friday already knowing who it was going to face in the first round of the playoffs and the schedule for the first-round match up against the Rockland Nationals was announced following the game with the series starting on Friday at the Carleton Place Arena at 7:45 p.m.
The full schedule is as follows:
BOLD = home games
* = if necessary
GAME 1: CPC vs ROC – Fri., Mar. 16 – 7:45 p.m.
GAME 2: CPC @ ROC – Sun., Mar. 18 – 2:30 p.m.
GAME 3: CPC vs ROC – Wed., Mar 21 – 8:15 p.m.
GAME 4: CPC @ ROC – Thurs., Mar. 22 – 7:30 p.m.
GAME 5: CPC vs ROC – Sat., Mar. 24 – 7:15 p.m. *
GAME 6: CPC @ ROC – Sun., Mar. 25 – 2:30 p.m. *
GAME 7: CPC vs ROC – Tues., Mar. 27 – 7:15 p.m. *