By: Daniel Vazzoler
The Carleton Place Canadians nearly had a three-goal deficit erased by the Kemptville 73’s on Tuesday but were able to keep Kemptville from tying the game and picked up a 3-2 win.
In what was once a bit of a rare occurrence for the Canadians, they started the game strong, as they have over the last stretch of games, before having a bit of a lull in their play during the second period. Carleton Place had a 3-0 lead just over three minutes into the second period.
“We had no trouble rolling all four lines and all six defencemen,” Canadians assistant coach Devin Campbell said about the start of the game. “Guys were playing the right way, playing as a team. We had good puck movement, working hard and every single one of those goals was based more off hard-working, rather than some fancy play.”
The scoring started with Kerfalla Toure scoring on the power play at the 14:01 mark of the first period. Caleb Kean powered his wrist shot through the 73’s goaltender and, before the loose puck was cleared off the goal-line from behind Connor Blackwood, Toure whacked the puck into the empty net for the one-goal lead.
A 5-on-3 power play early in the second period led to Ryan Bonfield beating Blackwood from the blue-line with a laser-like wrist shot. Bonfield snapped his shot over Blackwood’s shoulder, ringing the cross-bar with his bar-down goal.
The momentum looked to be fully in the Canadians’ favour when Gino Colangelo made it a 3-0 game with his first goal in the CCHL – a goal that got the Carleton Place players and coaches excited for him.
“It’s always nice to bury the first one, get the monkey off the back, but I couldn’t have done it without all of my team-mates and it was definitely a team effort (on the goal),” he said. “Honestly, it was probably the most enjoyment I’ve had in a long time. It’s always nice to see that everyone cares about you (…) I’m taking in every moment.”
“That kid gives it his all, game in and game out,” Toure said of Colangelo. “He gets his chances to and finally gets rewarded. That’s a kid that fuels your whole team. He goes in, doesn’t complain, plays his minutes, plays very hard and finally gets rewarded. We love that, we want to see it every game.”
The goal may have put the Canadians too high because the 73’s, who entered the game second in the CCHL, stormed back with a pair of goals later in the middle period to make it 3-2 heading into the third period.
“I think we left off the gas there and thought maybe it was ‘point night’ after those two goals early in the second,” Toure said. “Thank god they scored in the second to wake us up a little bit.”
Kemptville put the pressure on Carleton Place in the third period, but Joe Chambers stood tall for the Canadians as he made eight of his 26 saves during the final frame.
Wins have been tough to come by for Carleton Place this season, compared to years past, but while this win against a top opponent could help build some confidence, Toure says the team’s record isn’t a true indication of the quality of the Canadians team.
“We know we’re a good team and we know we’ve given away games, unfortunately. Most of our losses are given away games, so we know what we can do, we know we can beat every team in this league, so we just have to show up. (Tuesday) was a great test, the guys showed up and now it’s on to Friday.”
The Canadians will travel on the road to play the Rockland Nationals on Friday before another tough test at the Carleton Place Arena on Sunday with the Ottawa Jr Senators coming to town.