By: Daniel Vazzoler
Hope springs eternal at the start of any new year and, for the Carleton Place Canadians, the 2022-23 CCHL season began the way any team would like – with a win.
It was a tough test for the season opener, a road trip to face the Renfrew Wolves, but the Canadians had a joyous bus ride home after getting a 3-2 victory to kick off the campaign.
Much like last season, the power play was lethal for Carleton Place on Friday night. After finishing last season with the league’s best power play, head coach Brent Sullivan and the Canadians look poised to be at or near the top of the special teams once more.
It didn’t take long for the man advantage to prove that, just 16 seconds of power play time to be exact.
Some early-season bumps cost the Wolves with a Too Many Players penalty 2:24 into the game and it quickly turned into Matteo Disipio’s first goal of the season. After battling in front of the Wolves’ net, Disipio got his stick free from the defender and deflected the Cole McGuire shot past Sebastian Resar to take the early lead.
Renfrew pushed back strong the rest of the first period as they outshot Carleton Place 16-6 in the opening frame. However, Joe Chambers held the Wolves to just one goal on those 16 shots to keep the game tied heading into the middle frame.
The Canadians rewarded their goaltender’s efforts by tallying another power play goal early in the second period. Derek Hamilton used the extra ice created by the power play to gain the attacking blue-line with speed and, while Resar stopped the first shot, Gino Colangelo capitalized on the rebound, sliding the loose puck past the sprawled-out goaltender, to restore the one-goal advantage.
Dylan Pollock added some much-needed insurance early in the third period as he teamed up with a pair of fellow CCHL rookies in Josh Penney and Thomas Dickey for Pollock’s first career CCHL goal. Following a face-off in the Renfrew zone, Penney forced a turnover and got the puck to Dickey. Pollock went to the back post and Dickey found the passing lane, allowing Pollock to deflect the puck past Resar for the 3-1 lead.
Pollock’s goal proved to be the game-winning goal, as Renfrew made things a little nerve-wracking towards the end thanks to a power play goal of their own with 2:18 remaining.
Chambers stood tall to the challenge though, ending the game with 37 saves to preserve the victory.
The Canadians face another road test on Sunday against the Pembroke Lumber Kings before taking to the ice at the Carleton Place Arena on Tuesday against the Ottawa Jr Senators.