By: Daniel Vazzoler
The Carleton Place Canadians top line of Ryland Mosley, Cameron Patton and David Gagnon proved why they could be one of the best lines in the CCHL on Sunday in the Canadians 4-0 win over the Rockland Nationals.
The trio of returning players had a bit of a slow start offensively to the season, but that is a thing of the past with the line contributing in all four goals on Sunday. Mosley ended the game as the first star with a two-goal-two-assist game, while second star Patton had four assists with Gagnon adding a pair of assists as well.
“Obviously everyone wants to contribute to the team and, with us three being back for our second year, we want to be good role models for the younger guys and we did a good job [of that] today,” Gagnon said.
“It’s definitely really nice to see yourself get a couple of points,” added Patton. “I thought we’ve been playing well all year, but it’s nice to get rewarded every once in a while, too.”
Their efforts were rewarded in spades on Sunday, and the scoring started early for Carleton Place.
Brett Thorne opened the scoring with a power play goal in the first period. Mosley and Patton got the puck to the front of the net and thought they had beaten Cyrus Martin. Thorne didn’t give up on the play and got to the loose puck on the edge of the crease to chip it past Martin for his second goal of the season.
Elliott McDermott nearly coughed up the Canadians lead with a turn-over to Matthew Vermaeten at his own blue-line but Devon Levi bailed out his defenceman by stopping the partial break-away opportunity.
McDermott then added to the lead with his first goal of the season as his long wrist shot eluded Martin’s glove with just 0:15 left in the first period.
The first period was a physical one, accentuated by a fight between Ryan Bonfield and Daniel Menges that Canadians coach Jason Clarke felt was a game-changing moment.
“Rockland came out banging and I liked how we matched, and sometimes surpassed, their physicality. I think Bonfield’s fight was actually the turning point in the game,” Clarke said. “I thought he did a really good job in that fight and it obviously got our bench fired up. I liked how our team played right after it.
“It’s tough to lose a good guy like that, who’s been scoring goals and been really good offensively, but he just showed another element of his game,” continued Clarke.
The good play wasn’t just for the Canadians offence on Sunday.
The defence for Carleton Place kept the Nationals chances to a minimum as Levi stopped all 25 shots he faced for his first career shut-out. Despite picking up the shut-out, Levi impressed Clarke with his ability to play the puck.
“Any time your goaltender can play the puck the way he does, it probably means 10 to 15 less hits the defence have to take and limits the rushed plays they have to make and it makes the game easier for them,” explained Clarke. “I thought he played his best game of the year from start to finish.”
Carleton Place will likely need another strong performance from its top players on Thursday when the Canadians face the Kanata Lasers, who were tied with Carleton Place for first place in the CCHL heading into Sunday’s game. That game will mark the end of a stretch of three games where the Canadians have to play the other three of the top four teams in the league – Rockland was fourth in the league while the Lasers and the Pembroke Lumber Kings were tied with the Canadians for first place.
The Canadians return to the Carleton Place Arena on Friday to play against the Nepean Raiders, who they beat 5-0 during the CCHL Showcase Week-end when the two teams last met.