By: Daniel Vazzoler
The Carleton Place Canadians picked up a 3-1 win on the road over the Rockland Nationals on Friday night.
After being named the CCHL’s player of the week last week thanks to a pair of strong performances over the weekend against the Renfrew Wolves, Jackson Pundyk carried this hot run of play into Friday’s game. Pundyk stopped 29 of 30 shots on route to the victory.
“Jackson Pundyk was huge again,” Canadians head coach Brent Sullivan said. “Puds is aggressive but controlled and offers a lot of swagger to our team. He’s a kid with a ton of confidence and, when he’s dialed in, he is very good.”
The last three games have shown just how good he can be. Sporting a 1.62 goals-against average and a .951 save percentage, Pundyk has quickly established himself as someone who could be a number-one goalie in the CCHL.
His performance was backed up by the play of his team-mates as well on Friday.
Evan Jamieson opened the scoring midway through the first period, jumping up in the rush for his third goal of the season. Matteo Disipio chipped the puck ahead to Derek Hamilton who made a nice play to spot the Canadians defenceman in the slot. Jamieson deftly deflected the pass over Haydn Gould’s blocker arm.
Rockland and Carleton Place traded power play goals in the second period, first with Patrick Lanthier tying the game before Disipio restored the Canadians lead. The Canadians power play has struggled recently but looked good leading to the Disipio goal. The puck movement in the attacking zone led to Brandon Walker blasting a slap shot on Gould the Nationals goalie couldn’t handle. Disipio tracked the rebound and found the open spot through the traffic and past Gould for the goal.
Things got nervous for the Canadians late in the third period with a 4-on-3 penalty kill in the final six minutes of the game.
“That was a key 4-on-3 penalty kill at the end where our guys ate a lot of pucks,” Sullivan said. “Greasy road win against a good team.”
Will Soloway capped off the scoring with an empty net goal to help seal the win and put Carleton Place in a tie with Rockland in the CCHL standings.
Sullivan, though, acknowledges it is early in the season to be focusing on the standings over how the team is playing.
“We have some games in had right now and are just looking to take it one game at a time and catch our stride,” Sullivan explained. “We need to get our special teams better in this next stretch but I’m happy with our five-on-five play as of late.”
The Canadians next have the Nepean Raiders on the schedule, another road game for Carleton Place on Sunday. Despite the Raiders being last in the CCHL standings, the Canadians were handed a loss by Nepean when the two teams last met.
“We’ve been in this situation before and got our lunch fed to us by Nepean at Showcase,” Sullivan expressed. “It’s very important for us to completely reset and gear up for an opportunity for a 4-point weekend. We need to bring our best to beat them.”