Canadians suffer heart break in over-time loss to Bears

By: Daniel Vazzoler

The Carleton Place Canadians twice erased two-goal deficits but, ultimately, suffered a 6-5 over-time loss to the Smiths Falls Bears on Tuesday.

After falling behind 3-1 in the first period and 4-2 early in the second period, the Canadians stormed back in the remainder of the middle frame to level the score at 4-4. The efforts of the second period were almost all-for-naught had it not been for Will Soloway tying the game up in the final minute of the third period to send the game to the extra frame.

The come-back fell short though, with Conor Ronayne beating Joe Chambers off the post and in with just nine seconds remaining in the over-time period to get the win.

“It was a back-and-forth game again,” Canadians head coach Brent Sullivan said. “I really didn’t like our first period. I thought we came out with no intensity and they took advantage a couple of times, so that was disappointing. There were some goals I think Joe would like back but we responded very well in the second.”

Caton Ryan scored the lone goal for Carleton Place in the opening frame, converting on a Canadians power play – something they had struggled with against the Bears coming into Tuesday.

Ryan’s goal tied the game at 1-1 just past the middle of the first period, but the Bears responded 1:38 later with Kyle Dagg beating Chambers just inside the post to restore the lead. Ronayne scored his first goal of the game late in the period to give Smiths Falls a 3-1 lead going into the intermission.

Coming into Tuesday, Carleton Place had gone 1-for-20 against Smiths Falls on the man advantage – with the lone goal coming in Sunday’s win against the Bears.

On Tuesday, the power play proved to be the catalyst in tying the game in the second period.

After Matteo Disipio and Riley Thompson traded goals just 0:32 apart early in the period, the Canadians struck for a pair of goals on the man-advantage – ultimately going 3-for-5 in the game. Brandon Walker blasted a slap shot through Dawson Labre with 6:04 remaining in the period before Disipio scored his second of the game in the final minute of the period.

“Our power play came up big with some really good execution on some things we talked about,” Sullivan said. “We tried to create a little more movement and open up the inside. They’re a team that sags three guys pretty high and have been a top-5 team on the penalty kill all season long, but we’ve been top-3 on the power play most of the season, so it was nice to see the guys execute in this match-up.”

Trevor Faucher scored early in the third period to take away some of the Canadians momentum after a strong second period, but the goal didn’t stop Carleton Place from coming away with at least one point.

With an attacking zone face-off near the final minute of regulation, Sullivan pulled his goalie and called a time-out to draw up a plan of attack to get the game tied and into over-time. Whether the plan was executed to perfection or not is irrelevant but it was pulled off well enough for Soloway to be open on the weak-side and score with 0:55 remaining in the third period.

“It was huge (to score). Six-on-five situations are not easy, I believe that was our third six-on-five goal this season,” stated Sullivan. “I thought we had a lot of momentum in that third period. We played a lot in their end. Will Soloway is a guy who hangs out around the paint so it’s nice for him to cash in there.”

That goal helped the Canadians in the standings immensely.

By picking up the point, Carleton Place ensured it would hold onto its fourth-place spot in the league going into Thursday’s game against the Cornwall Colts. The Canadians moved three points ahead of the Renfrew Wolves and Hawkesbury Hawks, who played against each other on Wednesday, and two points ahead of the Brockville Braves who sit idle until Friday.

“It’s been a dog fight all year, it’s unbelievable. Any night, you’re trying to claw a win and get points so that stay in the fight,” expressed Sullivan. “Right now, we’ve created a two-point gap but that means nothing if you don’t win the next one.”