By: Daniel Vazzoler
A modest two-game winning streak for the Carleton Place Canadians came to an end on Friday courtesy of a 3-1 loss to the Hawkesbury Hawks.
Following a showcase weekend where the Canadians went 1-1-1 in the three games, things were looking to turn in the right direction with back-to-back wins. A 7-4 win over the Smiths Falls Bears and a 4-2 win over the Rockland Nationals were a chance to build up some momentum.
The Canadians carried some of that momentum into Friday’s game but couldn’t generate a goal to give them the lead.
An icing call against Carleton Place late in the first period created the opportunity the Hawks needed to open the scoring. A tired group won the face-off defensively but couldn’t find a way to get the puck out of the zone. After Joe Chambers made the stop on a shot from the slot, Devon Thibodeau’s desperation clearing attempt ended up on Ryan Murphy’s stick. His quick shot didn’t allow Chambers to recover and gave Hawkesbury a 1-0 lead after the first period of play.
The Hawks forced Carleton Place to defend to start the second period, but a Canadians power play midway through the period changed the tides and allowed Carleton Place to control the pace of play a bit more.
Again though, Carleton Place couldn’t beat Max Donoso and William Gendron added some insurance for the Hawks in the final minute of the second frame. With teams playing four-on-four, a Canadians turnover at the Hawks blue-line sprung Gendron on a breakaway. He made no mistake as he snapped a shot over Chambers’ blocker-side shoulder for the 2-0 lead.
Gendron found himself behind the Canadians defence early in the third period as well and took advantage of it once more. A steal by Rylee Hlusiak led to Josh Spratt getting the puck and spotting Gendron splitting the Canadians defence. He nearly got caught but was able to make the move to his backhand in time and slide the puck past Chambers for the 3-0 lead.
Carleton Place broke Donoso’s shut-out bid with less than five minutes remaining with a goal from Reid Oliver. Oliver took the pass from his defence partner Brandon Walker and wired a slap shot past Donoso from the top of the left-wing circle.
It ended up being the only one of the Canadians 24 shots to get past Donoso. Meanwhile, Chambers stopped 25 of the 28 Hawks shots he faced.
It will be a rare Sunday without a game for the Canadians, who are back in action at home on Tuesday with the Kemptville 73’s paying a visit to the Carleton Place Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.