By: Daniel Vazzoler
The Carleton Place Canadians had a two-goal lead vanish on them in Friday’s game against the Pembroke Lumber Kings, but they came back with three unanswered goals in the second period to lead them to a 6-3 win.
“Definitely shows our resilience,” said Canadians assistant captain Sam Knoblauch. “We’re going to face adversity all year. We have a veteran group, but we have new guys, and it’s good to see guys bounce back.”
Goals from Peyton Francis and Justin Cmunt just over one minute apart put Carleton Place ahead midway through the opening period.
Canadians coach Jason Clarke his team dominated the first period, but they were unable to take the 2-0 lead into the intermission. Casey Rhodes scored with 0:10 left in the period, getting to the rebound first to cut the Carleton Place lead in half. Then, 0:41 into the second period, Jarrad Vroman beat Jeremie Forget with a slap shot from the blue-line to tie the game.
Carleton Place didn’t take long to get the lead back. Knoblauch got a stick on the Tim Theocharidis shot and tipped it past Jake Smith for a power play goal 3:19 into the middle period. Geoff Kitt extended the lead halfway through the second period. Smith stopped Knoblauch’s shot from the slot, but the puck trickled through him and Kitt poked the puck just over the goal-line.
Travis Broughman had a chance to make it a 5-2 game when Cade Townend sprung him on a break-away. Broughman was slashed and couldn’t get a shot off, and was rewarded with a penalty shot – that he made no mistake on.
Broughman brought the puck in tight on Smith on his backhand side, before bringing the puck over to his forehand and chipping the puck over the outstretched glove of Smith for the goal.
Matthew Barnaby made it close with a power play goal early in the third period, but that was as close as Pembroke would come.
Jaden Luik put Carleton Place up by three once again as he wristed his shot past Smith while on a 5-on-3 power play for his first career CCHL goal.
“It was a good thing to pump the boys up, I think at that time,” he said. “We were playing well, it (a goal) was going to come anyway on that 5-on-3, but it felt good to get my first Junior goal and get that one out of the way.
“I tried to hit Sam Allison back-door and it didn’t quite work out,” Luik said, explaining the play leading to his goal. “‘Biller’ (Brent Hill) got the puck to me, I looked up and I saw the goalie cheating down to the corner. I thought I’d just throw a shot on net and fortunately it went in.”
Luik’s goal wasn’t the only milestone in the game, as Eastan Eckert also made his debut with Carleton Place.
“It was pretty good, coach got me in on a regular shift and I just got my feet moving. Team welcomed me well and it just felt like another game out there,” said Eckert, adding that communication with his defence partners helped him settle in and know what to do on the ice.
Part of the success for Carleton Place the last two games has been the performance of the Cmunt-Kitt-Knobluach line. In both Friday’s game and Thursday’s win against Kanata, each member of that line has scored; combining for six goals and seven assists in the two games.
“They’ve been fantastic,” said Clarke about the trio over those games. “You’ve got to be able to compete, and when you compete and create turnovers, you’ve got to be able to make plays. That’s a big thing that those guys are really good at. Once a team makes a mistake or they’ve created that turnover, they can move pucks really quickly and get into areas that they need to get into.”
Carleton Place will look to wrap up their week-end of three games in four days with a third win when they face the Cornwall Colts at the Carleton Place Arena on Sunday at 3 p.m.