By: Daniel Vazzoler
The Carleton Place Canadians used a strong power play and four goals from their defencemen to beat the Kemptville 73’s on Saturday by a 6-2 score.
Brett Thorne had a pair of goals in the first period, while Travis Broughman (1G, 2A) and Geoff Kitt (3A) led the Canadians in points. A night after coming in for relief of Jeremie Forget, Michael Leach stopped 23 of the 25 shots he faced to get the victory.
Thorne opened the scoring with a power-play goal 13:00 into the first period. The Canadians defenceman snuck down from his spot along the blue-line to the far post and Broughman slipped a pass through the 73’s defenders for an easy tap-in goal for Thorne.
Thorne made it 2-0 for the Canadians in the final minute of the period with a long wrist shot from the line that appeared to get deflected right in front of Cooper Lukenda and ramped up and past the Kemptville goalie.
The second period was all special-teams goals.
Charlie Kiefer made it a one-goal game with a power-play goal for Kemptville early in the middle period. Sam Knoblauch restored the two-goal advantage with a goal while short handed before Broughman scored on the man advantage to give the Canadians a 4-1 lead going to the third period.
Noah Tooke extended the lead less than three minutes into the final period, wiring a slap shot past Lukenda on the glove-side.
Garrett Meyer scored the 73’s second goal of the game but 1:32 later, Joshua Gagne scored with the third power play goal for the Canadians. Gagne one-timed the Nick Pryce pass and his slap shot beat Lukenda past his blocker.
With the victory, and the shoot-out loss by the Ottawa Jr. Senators, the Canadians now have a 10-point lead atop the CCHL standings. Ottawa has a game in hand, but the magic number of points for Carleton Place to clinch the top seed for the playoffs is now down to nine – either through wins of its own or through some help from Ottawa losing games.
Carleton Place will nearly have a week between games as it returns to action on Friday to face the Brockville Braves at the Brockville Memorial Centre to start a stretch of three games in four days. The Canadians and Braves make their way to the Carleton Place Arena on Feb. 18, the Sunday after they play in Brockville, before the Canadians host the Smiths Falls Bears Family Day Monday at 3 p.m.