By: Daniel Vazzoler
The Carleton Place Canadians offensive attack proved to be too much for the Pembroke Lumber Kings to handle on Tuesday evening, with the Canadians picking up a 6-1 win.
The scoring came throughout the line-up for Carleton Place with five players tallying multiple points, six different goal scorers and 11 players hit the scoresheet. With the Canadians in the midst of 10 games before the Christmas break, the balanced attack will help the Canadians moving forward.
“It’s a next man up mentality,” said Canadians coach Brent Sullivan. “There’s going to be nights where certain guys aren’t feeling good, certain guys are tired, and you need that depth to be able to contribute.”
Pembroke was in a position where they had to turn to Jr B goalie Isaac Wilson and Carleton Place took full advantage of his first career CCHL start. Nerves were evident for Wilson in the first period and the Canadians could sense it, sending 16 shots on goal in the opening frame.
That offensive mindset paid off with three goals in that first period.
Dylan Pollock opened the scoring less than five minutes into the game, turning a quick breakout into an unorthodox goal. Josh Penney had the first try to beat Wilson but missed high and Pollock got to the rebound behind the goal-line, banking the puck off Wilson and into the net for the goal.
The special teams played a large role in the Canadians win as well. Matteo Disipio got the power play on the boards in the first period to help take the momentum before the first intermission. In total, the Canadians were 2-for-3 on the power play and were perfect on the penalty kill as the Lumber Kings were 0-for-8 with the man advantage.
After dominating in special teams last season, the Canadians have struggled with a player in the box – from either team. Heading into Tuesday’s game, the Canadians were eighth in the CCHL on the power play and were last in the league on the penalty kill. Following its performance against the Lumber Kings, Carleton Place now has the fifth best power play and rank ninth in penalty killing.
“This year, we focused so much on how we defend, on how we fore-check and track the play that our special teams ended up taking a smack,” Sullivan said, explaining the difference between the two seasons. “It’s been a good area of focus now that our five-on-five game’s feeling pretty good and we wanted to take more pride in how we kill (penalties).
“We have a lot of guys who have a mentality like a lot of penalty killers,” he continued. “They’re proud about how the defend, they block a lot of shots, are hard to play against and it just wasn’t translating.”
The defensive play was impressive again for the Canadians on Tuesday, not only on the penalty kill but also at even strength. After allowing just 21 shots on Sunday, Carleton Place improved on that and held the Lumber Kings to just 18 shots against Jackson Pundyk.
Coming off his first CCHL shut-out, Pundyk carried a shut-out bid into the third period. Colin Vassallo ended the shut-out streak though and got Pembroke on the board 5:53 into the final frame – a few minutes after Noah Kinlock-Varga had extended the Canadians lead to 4-0.
Carleton Place will look to continue the string of good play on Friday when it faces the Kemptville 73’s in Kemptville before a run of four home games in a week between Sunday and Dec. 11.