By: Daniel Vazzoler
Saturday’s game between the Carleton Place Canadians and the Ottawa Jr Senators was a close one, but the Canadians found themselves on the wrong end of a 4-2 score.
The Canadians knew they had to be ready to face a fast start from an Ottawa team that suffered a disappointing loss the night before and had lost to Carleton Place the previous meeting. Carleton Place was more than prepared to face that early pressure, keeping the Jr Senators off the board and even jumping out to a 2-0 lead early in the second period.
It was the defence providing the offence for Carleton Place on Saturday, with the two goals coming from defencemen Evan Jamieson and Brandon Walker.
Jamieson, playing in his second game since returning to the Canadians line-up, opened the scoring late in the first period. Off a face-off win, Jamieson and Cole McGuire swapped places along the blue-line with McGuire dropping the puck off for Jamieson in the process. The Canadians captain dragged the puck along the line before using a wrist shot that needled its way through the traffic in front of the net and past Rorke Applebee for the goal.
Walker continued his hot offensive play as he now has points in seven of the nine games coming back from the break, tallying 10 points over that stretch and currently leads all CCHL defencemen in scoring with 35 points. His goal to give the Canadians the 2-0 lead less than five minutes into the second period was his 14th of the season, also best amongst defencemen in the league.
Ottawa cut into the lead before the end of the second period with a Chase Lammi goal scored 14:27 into the frame, the only goal to beat Jackson Pundyk in the first 40 minutes of the game.
The Canadians peppered Applebee throughout the game but especially in the third period as they were trying to add to the lead where he made 15 of his 35 saves in the game.
“Statistically, he’s the best goalie in the league and he played well in the third period when we were pouring it on,” Canadians coach Brent Sullivan said.
The strong goaltending at the other end of the ice helped spark Ottawa’s offence late in the third period, tying the game with less than eight minutes remaining and then taking the lead three minutes later.
“That’s a good team that doesn’t lose much in regulation,” Sullivan said. “We played hard and well enough where that game could have gone either way.”
An empty net goal sealed the victory for Ottawa late and sent the Canadians back home to prep for the next game. It would have been on Sunday against the Kemptville 73’s, but the weather canceled the game and now Carleton Place has time to prep for the Pembroke Lumber Kings coming to Carleton Place on Tuesday.
“It’s a playoff mentality right now,” Sullivan explained. “We lose a game on the road and we’re right back at it on home ice. This group is filled with leaders and character kids, we will bounce back.”