By: Daniel Vazzoler
The 14-game winning streak the Carleton Place Canadians had ended on Friday night at the hands of the Nepean Raiders who picked up a 3-2 win in a shoot-out.
“Couldn’t be prouder of the guys as a team, we just finished winning 14 games in a row,” said Canadians coach Jason Clarke. “That’s what I said after the game, 14 games unbeaten, good job now let’s get back at it on Sunday.”
According to Clarke, the difference on Friday was in the crease. Liam Souliere stopped 53 of 55 shots he faced and added three more saves in the shoot-out. Jeremie Forget got the start for Carleton Place, but was pulled after the second Raiders goal bounced on, over and past Forget.
“Disappointing to see our starting goalie let two goals in like that, there’s no doubt about it,” said Clarke. “Both goals, I mean, defencemen with no blocker, trapper or pads. Just a disappointing effort from our goaltender, but that’s why you have two goaltenders and (Mike) Leach stepped in there and did a fantastic job.”
Corey Tam opened the scoring in the first period, finding the puck in his feet in front of Forget and sliding the puck through the Canadians goalie for the score.
Geoff Kitt tied the game at 1-1 early in the second period, snapping a shot just under the cross-bar to beat Souliere and to get Kitt his 100th career point in the CCHL.
“It was just a good play, I lost the draw but it was a 50-50 battle and got the puck back to the point. We’ve been working on that play where the third-guy high jets out to the point, so I got out as high as I could. ‘Ducky’ (Aidan Girduckis) gave me a good pass where I was able to just turn and fire it on net. It was a nice goal for my 100th point, but it would have been nice to get two points for the team,” Kitt explained.
The good feeling from the goal was short-lived as Bryson Michel chased Forget from the net with a bouncing puck that eluded the Canadians goaltender 5:29 into the middle period. Forget’s night ended with six saves on eight shots in his 25:29 of action.
Leach came in to replace the starter and stopped all nine shots he faced before the shoot-out.
Travis Broughman tipped in a power play goal with 8:02 left in the third period to send the game to over-time and eventually the shoot-out, the lone bright spot on what was a bleak power play until then.
“Nepean was doing a real good job of keeping us to the outside, so we just tried to get a switch on top, we ended up getting the switch, and getting pucks on net,” Clarke said. “We had two guys in front, that’s something we talked about, Broughman had a real nice tip and it was a good goal.”
Malcolm Arseneau scored the lone goal in the shoot-out to stand as the game-winner.
Looking at the shot totals, however, this game shouldn’t have gone to the shoot-out but the Canadians weren’t efficient in the offensive zone.
“[We] weren’t polished with the puck, we weren’t moving it to the right places and just fumbling a lot of pucks, turning them over at the blue-line, just things we can’t do against a good team like Nepean who’s going to bring its A-game against us,” said Kitt.
“Even though they only had 16 (shots), I thought they were pretty high quality. We didn’t keep them to the outside and we let them get right to the middle of the ice and get good quality chances,” Kitt continued. “They finished their chances and we didn’t, that was the game.”
Carleton Place won’t have to sit on the loss long as it looks to rebound on Sunday when they host the Kanata Lasers at 3 p.m.