By: Daniel Vazzoler
It was billed as a meeting of league titans when the Carleton Place Canadians and Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators on Monday, and it was the Canadians who came away with the 3-1 win.
For Carleton Place coach Jason Clarke, however, he said it’s tough to see which team is better since Ottawa was missing a pair of its top forwards.
“Anytime a team is missing its two top forwards, you have to take advantage and that’s kind of what we did. We took advantage of a team that was hurt” said Clarke. “When Owen Guy and Nick Lalonde are in their line-up, they’re a different team.”
Monday’s game had a feisty edge to it, developed from Ottawa and Carleton Place meeting for the last two Bogart Cups. That feistiness carried over to the benches as well as Ottawa assistant coach Chris Kushneriuk started having words with the Canadians bench.
“It was an unfortunate incident by one of the Ottawa Jr. ‘A’ Senators’ assistant coaches. Did something pretty classless towards our bench which a lot of people took notice to and our guys didn’t like it,” explained Clarke about the situation. “I thought we responded really well, especially in the third period to put the game away.”
Ottawa head coach Martin Dagenais had a different opinion on the situation, as he stated in an interview for the Jr. Senators Twitter account.
“Things got rough midway through the first, both benches were going at each other and it kind of fired us up. Give credit to Chris Kushneriuk, my assistant coach, woke the team up,” he said.
Geoff Kitt opened the scoring to give Carleton Place the lead 7:20 into the opening period, but Silas Mattawashish tied the score late in the first period after the bench incident started.
Neither team could score in the second period as Jeremie Forget and Francis Boisvert stopped all shots they faced in the frame.
Mattawashish’s goal snapped Forget’s shutout streak that lasted more than three games. After Clarke called out his goaltender following a loss to Hawkesbury on Sept. 29, he said Forget’s play has turned around.
“He’s making the stops he needs to make. He’s made a couple big ones every game but all the one’s he’s supposed to stop, he stops. He’s on a little bit of a hot streak right now, only one goal allowed in the last three games. When you’re a goaltender and you can make two or three big saves and make the stops you’re supposed to, then you’re going to have some good performances and that’s what he’s done all week-end long,” said Clarke.
Zach Tupker scored the game-winning goal as he followed the bouncing puck in the slot and beat Boisvert low on the stick side.
“Ben (Tupker) and Jack (Clark) were battling along the wall and then Ben got the puck out and did a nice net drive. Luckily the puck popped out front and I just tapped it in,” he described.
The Tupker-Tupker-Clark line drew the praise from its coach following Monday’s win.
“I thought the Tupker line was all over it all night. They had a couple really good, glorious chances in the first period, told them to just stick with it,” Clarke said. “They were getting a lot of chances, sooner or later they were going to bury it and Ben Tupker used his size and speed to the outside and the other two just crashed the net.
“That line’s been really good. That line should probably have a lot more to show for in points than what they have. I think they’ve had a lot of bad puck-luck, to be honest with you, for the first 10 or 12 games here. They just continue to play the game the right way. They’re playing a lot of north-and-south and taking stuff to the net, and moving their feet to take away time and space when they don’t have the puck and they got rewarded today with a big goal,” Clarke added.
The two teams will meet up again on Nov. 1 at the Jim Durrell Sports Complex. Clarke said Carleton Place needs to be at their best to beat Ottawa in that game, especially if Nick Lalonde and Owen Guy – who are fourth and 17th in league scoring respectively – are back in the game for the Jr. Senators that day.