By: Daniel Vazzoler
Following a night where the Carleton Place Canadians went 0-for-7 with the man advantage, the team went 3-for-6 on the power play in Sunday’s 5-3 win over the Brockville Braves.
The key to the power play’s success was simple, according to Canadians coach Jason Clarke.
“We just shot the puck,” he said. “Against Ottawa (Jr. Senators) we refused to shoot the puck and all three power play goals we scored were from shots. They weren’t from seam passes or pretty plays, it was just getting pucks to the net, quick puck-movement to open areas and shooting the puck. If you shoot, anything can happen and we just happened to score [Sunday].”
“I thought Ottawa really pressured the points, we had to work the puck down low,” added assistant captain Tim Theocharidis. “We found, in this game, Brockville didn’t pressure the points so we had more time to get shots through.”
The offence started early for Carleton Place as Travis Broughman scored 0:21 into the game. Ben and Zach Tupker helped get the puck to the front of the Braves net and Broughman found the rebound and chipped the puck past a sprawled-out Justin Evenson.
The power play also did its job quickly as Sam Allison scored 0:41 into the man advantage for a 2-0 lead midway through the first period.
Brockville struck for three goals on 27 shots against Michael Leach, taking advantage of letdowns by the Canadians. Joshua Spratt got the Braves on the board, snapping a shot past Leach following a Canadians turnover in their own zone.
Mathieu Halle responded to Sam Knoblauch’s power play goal with a goal of his own just 0:08 after the Canadians restored their two-goal lead in the second period.
Carleton Place received a pair of goals from the blue-line as Adam Pilotte and Theocharidis both wired slap shots past Evenson’s blocker-side shoulder before Hunter Fraser wrapped up the scoring in the third period.
“We worked hard for 40 minutes and executed well on the offensive side of things, but our defensive side of the puck was less than commendable,” Clarke said. “Sure, you’ve got to be able to score in order to win games, but you also have to be able to defend. The three goals scored against us should never happen.”
Clarke threw his team a bit of a life-line in terms of some of the defensive struggles over the week-end as he credited some of the mental miscues to the long layoff the team had over the holiday break. The Canadians had 14 days off between games, last playing on Dec. 22 before Saturday’s game against Ottawa.
“I think (the week-end) was alright,” Theocharidis said. “Even though we were a little rusty with the puck, we had a good week at practice, our work ethic was there and it was just about grinding it out.”
Pilotte’s goal late in the second period was the first goal in the CCHL for the 20-year-old defenceman.
“It’s definitely a stress-reliever, but most importantly it made it 4-2 so it put us in a good spot going to the third period,” he said.
Clarke said the defensive side of the game will be a focus of practice for Carleton Place throughout the week before Friday’s game on the road against the Hawkesbury Hawks. The Canadians are back on home ice the following Sunday when they host the Kanata Lasers.