By: Daniel Vazzoler
Normally a two-goal game is a nice story for any player, but for Carleton Place Canadians forward Travis Broughman, Friday’s two goals made it a special night.
“It meant a lot as my father just passed away so it meant a lot to come out and get some goals for him.”
Broughman spent the past week at home with his family at home in Richmond, VA before coming back for Friday’s game against the Navan Grads – in which his two goals helped get the Canadians a 5-3 win.
“Having your father die last week and then a full-week off – he only made it to two practices this week – and dealing with that, and having a good performance like that just shows the type of character he has and the type of kid he is,” Canadians coach Jason Clarke said about Broughman. “Definitely going through a rough time right now, so it’s nice to see him get off to a good start this week-end.”
Broughman started the scoring with his two goals to give the Canadians a 2-0 lead. He opened with a goal in the first period, taking the puck right off the face-off to the right of Grads goalie Seth Carter and rang a shot off the cross-bar in the right spot to put the puck in the back of the net. Broughman then scored early in the second period, slipping the rebound through Carter’s legs for the power play goal.
Then the Canadians had some defensive struggles against a team that, when you look at the standings alone, they shouldn’t struggle against.
Former Canadian Arik Breton got Navan on the scoreboard, beating Jeremie Forget to the far post for the goal past the middle of the second period.
Alex Way tied the game 4:05 into the final period, taking advantage of a deflection at the side of the Canadians net. The puck bounced off a Carleton Place defender into the slot and Way slapped the puck past Forget.
“The two goals they scored, just bad communication on the defencemen’s part,” assistant captain Cade Townend said. “We’ve got to clear that up and we’ll be good to go.”
Sam Allison struck back quickly for the Canadians just 0:52 later following a Grads turn-over at centre-ice, created by another deflection off a skate. After getting into the attacking zone, Keenan Reynolds tried to beat Carter with a back-hand shot but that was kicked aside. The rebound ended up on Allison’s stick and he found the open net to regain the lead.
The lead that didn’t last long.
Less than a minute later, Forget punched out a long shot from the blue-line into the slot and a trio of Canadians just stared at the puck as Joe McGrath skated through and poked the loose puck past the Carleton Place goalie.
That goal ended the night for Forget as Clarke decided to pull him after giving up three goals on 11 shots.
“Our goaltender wasn’t very good tonight, anytime you allow three goals on  shots – and they weren’t great goals – it is what it is,” Clarke said. “Forget has always bounced back after a poor performance. Last week, he had back-to-back shut-outs and he deserved them and was really good. It’s just one of those things where he had a bad game and there’s a lot of guys in the dressing room that have had more than one bad game, that’s for sure.”
Sam Knoblauch got the Canadians victory with a pair of goals. First, he found the open ice in the slot and took the Ben Tupker pass before beating Carter for the goal. He later added insurance for the Canadians with a power-play goal late in the game for the two-goal victory.
The main reason the Grads had a chance to win this game, let alone the fact the game was close, was the 63-save performance from Seth Carter.
“He was very, very good even after we made some adjustments in the second and third periods,” Clarke said.
“Full credit to (Carter), it’s obviously frustrating for our guys when they can’t score on grade-A opportunitites,” Townend added. “But, you’ve got to stick with it and that’s what we did to come out on top.”
The Canadians don’t have much time to think about this game and they are back on the ice on Saturday with a road game against the Kemptville 73’s that starts at 7:30 p.m. Carleton Place is then back on the road next Friday to face the Brockville Braves before the two teams return to the Carleton Place Arena on Feb. 18 and then the Canadians host the Smiths Falls Bears in an afternoon game on the Family Day Monday.