By: Daniel Vazzoler
The season is well into ‘crunch time’ for the Carleton Place Canadians if they want to make the playoffs.
Yet, the way Carleton Place started Sunday’s game against the Kemptville 73’s, it would be tough to find the sense of urgency required to try and make up the ground it needs to sneak into the CCHL post-season.
The Canadians fell behind just 41 seconds into the game, and a stretch of 0:19 less than seven minutes later seemed to put the finishing touches on the group – with nearly 52 minutes left to play.
“The start dictated the end results. (Kemptville) is a good team, they’re an older team that came ready to play and we weren’t,” Canadians head coach Brent Sullivan said. “We need to start on time. We as coaches provide every single resource possible for them to be ready.
“At the end of the day, a lot of it comes onto them if they’re ready at puck drop. We’ll take this as a learning opportunity for the coaches and do anything we can to try and help more. It’s a transition, coming into junior hockey, but you can’t just come in slow like that, teams will be all over you.”
Marco Iozzo got the Canadians on the board in the first period, but Carleton Place allowed a pair of goals in the second period to render the Iozzo goal essentially wasted in the comeback efforts.
The third period, however, showed what Carleton Place can play like when the effort level is there. The Canadians outshot Kemptville 19-4 in the final period and Mark MacPhee tallied the lone goal of the frame, converting on a power play late in the game.
“The third period was more of a culture thing. They know, if they quit, they won’t be here,” Sullivan expressed. “They played the way we asked them to from the start, they just chose to play that way in the third. If it sends a message, it says that we are capable of playing that way and they choose not to at times.”
Carleton Place faces a weekend with back-to-back games on the road against the Brockville Braves on Friday night and Sunday afternoon.