By: Daniel Vazzoler
The Carleton Place Canadians started their run in the 2018 Fred Page Cup on Wednesday with a 2-1 loss against Collège Français Longueuil.
Even though they lost, the Canadians controlled most of the game but couldn’t find the finishing touch to get the goals they needed to secure the victory.
“We played very well, it’s one of the best games we’ve played in a long time,” Canadians coach Jason Clarke said. “I liked the way our team played, just unfortunate we couldn’t score and we ran into a hot goaltender.”
Carleton Place outshot Longueuil 14-9 in the first period but couldn’t translate a strong start into an early lead. A pair of goals from the Chapleau brothers – Vincent and Philippe – in the second period proved to be the difference in the game before a Brett Thorne goal in the third capped off the Wednesday morning game.
The Canadians were coming off a disappointing showing in the Bogart Cup Finals against the Ottawa Jr. Senators, so members of the team said they liked the way they played and the results will change if they keep playing the way they did on Wednesday.
“We lost, but the guys played really well,” assistant captain Tim Theocharidis said. “We were keeping stuff simple, were playing really hard, battling well and when the plays were there we were making them.”
“[Y]ou don’t have to win the first game, you have to win the last game. We’ve been in this tournament before, if we continue to have efforts like we had in this one then we’ll definitely give ourselves a chance to be playing out of the round robin,” added Clarke.
Early in the second period, Vincent Chapleau picked off a pass for the Canadians defence and broke away for the scoring opportunity. Leach stopped the breakaway move but the rebound bounced off the players skating towards the net and past the Carleton Place goaltender for the short-handed goal.
Less than six minutes later, Chapleau set up his brother Philippe with a cross-ice pass for the power play goal and a 2-0 lead.
The Canadians power play wasn’t a strong point in the game, giving up a number of short-handed breakaways to Longueuil, but did get the team on the board with Brett Thorne sneaking in from the blue-line for the goal at the back post.
“That’s one part of our game we didn’t do a good job with in the first two periods,” Clarke said of the power play. “We had a tough time making in-game adjustments right away, we talked about it between the first and second periods and it didn’t go so well and we talked about it again between the second and third. We finally figured it out and we scored a goal off of it.”
He also pointed out the lack of power play success wasn’t the reason Carleton Place didn’t win, instead saying it was the inability to convert more than once on the 31 shots directed at Phillippe Savard-Masse – who was named Longueuil’s player of the game.
Next up for the Canadians in the tournament is a rematch of the Bogart Cup Finals as Carleton Place and Ottawa will battle once again – and with Carleton Place having something to prove.
“Guys have a little bit of fire in the belly and we’ve just got to come out and play our game like we did [Wednesday] and I think we’ll be just fine,” Theocharidis said.
“They’re the champions of our league and they embarrassed us in the five games so we’ll be firing on all cylinders for sure,” expressed Clarke.