By: Daniel Vazzoler
The Carleton Place Canadians shook off the 3-2 shoot-out loss to the Renfrew Wolves on Saturday in a big way with a convincing 6-2 victory at home on Sunday against those same Wolves.
Carleton Place felt it outplayed Renfrew on Saturday and the single point gained may not have been a just reward. On Sunday, the Canadians made sure there was no doubt as to who the better team was.
“It was a tough bounce (Saturday) night, I really thought we should have won so, to come in the way we did and respond with a 6-2 win, is really big for our group,” Canadians assistant captain Gino Colangelo said.
The second period is where the Canadians took control of the game, outscoring Renfrew 5-1 in the middle frame and erasing the 1-0 deficit they faced heading into the period.
It took all of five seconds for Matteo Disipio to tie the game, as Carleton Place executed the face-off play to perfection with Disipio finishing with a snap shot that beat Sebastian Resar low on the stick side.
Will Soloway kept the momentum going for Carleton Place as he scored a pair of goals 3:34 apart and chased Resar from the game just 5:36 into the second period. Soloway first beat Resar on the short side with a wrist shot from the top of the right-wing circle, then scored his second goal with another wrister – this time over Resar’s blocker.
The start to the second period was a stark contrast to how the Canadians played the opening period. Renfrew outshot Carleton Place 13-7 in the first period and looked to be taking advantage of a team that could have been rattled by a tough loss the night before.
Instead, the Canadians responded with those three goals to open the second period, had eight shots in the first six minutes of the period and, at one point, had an 11-2 advantage in shots over the Wolves in the middle period.
“It was just a reminder of what our identity is,” said Canadians head coach Brent Sullivan. “I wasn’t happy after the first period […] so we just reminded them of what makes us successful. It’s kind of funny to get a set face-off play goal right off the hop because that right away gets the momentum going. Then getting those three goals in the first minutes of the second was crucial.”
The depth for the Canadians also made an impact with the young line of Thomas Dickey, Dylan Pollock and Joshua Penney coming together on a pair of Pollock goals.
With the Canadians leading 4-2, Pollock capped off the five-goal period by hammering home a one-timer in the low slot before securing the victory with another goal in the latter half of the third period to prevent any idea of a comeback from the Wolves.
“We found each other really well on the ice,” expressed Pollock about he and his new line-mates. “Dickey two great apples on my goals and just great views by him and I was in the right place at the right time.”
With the two goals on Sunday, Pollock now has six goals so far in his first season in the CCHL, while the two assists puts Dickey at 10 points on the season – good for second in CCHL rookie scoring.
“That kid’s been outstanding since he’s gotten here and he plays hard minutes. He plays penalty kill, takes key face-offs and he’s got six goals right now and he doesn’t get more than 15 minutes a night,” Sullivan raved about Pollock. “Thomas Dickey is going to be a heck of a player, that kid’s incredibly smart, incredibly talented and then Josh Penney has a lot of talent. He’s had a tough time adjusting to the league, but it’s there and you saw some glimpses of him making some high-end plays.”
When a team wins 6-2, it’s rare the goaltender has to play a big role in the victory, but that was the case for Jackson Pundyk on Sunday.
Stats wise, it may not have been the start to the 2022-23 season the Canadians goaltender was hoping for. The hard work he and Canadians goalie coach Matt Dopud have been putting in came to fruition this past weekend, and is sign of things to come in the eyes of the Canadians coaching staff.
Pundyk stopped 30 of 32 shots in Saturday’s shoot-out loss and 38 of 40 shots against on Sunday, including 12 of 13 in the first period while his team-mates were getting settled into the game.
“Jackson Pundyk was huge this weekend,” Sullivan praised. “That’s the goalie that we know he is, for him to come up the way he did this weekend was crucial.”
Next up for the Canadians, a pair of road games await with a trip to face the Rockland Nationals on Friday night before a matinee affair on Sunday with the Nepean Raiders. Playing on larger ice surfaces in both of those rinks, Sullivan said the Canadians speed will be a factor in keeping the momentum going from the performances this weekend.
“It all starts with practice on Tuesday, carrying it out this week and bringing it on Friday against Rockland,” added Colangelo.