By: Daniel Vazzoler
While it may not have been their best game, the Carleton Place Canadians picked up a 3-0 win Friday night against the Smiths Falls Bears.
“We got off to a bit of a slow start in the first period but we picked it up halfway through (the period),” Canadians coach Jason Clarke said. “For some reason we came out flat in the second period and Smiths Falls really took it to us.”
The offense for Carleton Place wasn’t as strong as the team would have liked, but it made up for it defensively. Jeremie Forget picked up his first career CCHL shutout, making 25 saves in the process – and he was sure to give credit to his team-mates for helping him get the shutout.
“I wasn’t really thinking about getting the shutout, I was just focused on the next puck and then time ran out,” said the Canadians goalie. “Honestly, they (his team-mates) are pretty much the reason why I got the shutout. I was seeing pretty much all the shots and when I made one save, there were no second rebounds. Made my job pretty easy.”
Players and coaches alike passed on praise to their goaltender and the team defense that led to the shutout.
“It’s a testament to him and the defence and the forwards coming back but he’s a really good goalie and he’s been good for us so far, so it was nice to see him get his first shutout,” Sam Knoblauch, Canadians assistant captain, said.
“The posts have got to be your best friends and I think they hit two posts […] when you’re going to get a shutout, you’ve got to have a little bit of luck and he had a little bit of luck. But he made some real big stops, especially in the second period when we were badly outplayed,” Clarke added.
Offensively, it was the Carleton Place top line of Knoblauch, Geoff Kitt and Justin Cmunt who did the damage on Friday. Cmunt scored a pair of goals, snapping a five-game goalless drought with the game-winning goal in the first period and sealed the deal with an empty net goal in the third.
“Me, ‘Kitter’ and ‘Knobber’ were talking, just telling each other to keep buzzing out there, we’re going to bury the puck,” Cmunt said. “Feels good for me to get the monkey off my back.”
Travis Broughman scored the second goal early into the third period to help give Carleton Place some insurance for the rest of the game.
For the third time in the young season, fourth if the Labour Day Showcase week-end is included, Carleton Place is playing three games in four days – and this is as big a rivalry week-end it has on the calendar. The Canadians head to Pembroke on Saturday for a meeting with the Lumber Kings before the CCHL’s Thanksgiving Showcase in Rockland where Carleton Place will be the home team against the Ottawa Jr. Senators.
“Big games coming up for sure,” Knoblauch reiterated. “Pembroke’s obviously one of our biggest rivals and then Ottawa we’ve played the last two Bogart Cups against. Obviously really intense games coming up and it’ll be a good test for us. You work months and months to get ready for the playoffs and these will be two intense games that will make us better in the long run, no matter what the outcome is.”