By Jeff Maguire
It was a memorable Remembrance Day for Carleton Place Canadians!
In the morning the entire team, wearing their home jerseys with a blood red poppy pinned to the front, joined thousands of others at the Carleton Place Cenotaph in Memorial Park to pay respects to the town’s 94 dead from two world wars and the Korean War.
A buzz went through the crowd when the team and coaching staff, led by head coach Jason Clarke, quietly joined the November 11 audience for the more than one hour long ceremony.
“I think it is important for our players to know that there wouldn’t be a country or a hockey league without the supreme sacrifice made by those people (service men and women),” Clarke says.
“I think the out-of-town guys were shocked to learn that 94 people from a small town gave their lives in the world wars,” he adds.
Sunday afternoon the players were back in uniform, this time for an important Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) game against first place Smiths Falls Bears. It was a four-pointer for both teams, but it was particularly vital for Canadians who trailed the Robinson Division and league leaders by four points at face-off time.
Carleton Place native Stephen Baylis scored a hat trick and assisted on another to lead Canadians to a 7-3 upset win over their arch rivals.
“The guys played well,” Clarke understated Monday morning.
“We lost twice to them by 4-2 scores early in the season. This time we made some adjustments to our game and it worked.
“I think this was the first weekend (of the season) we played with real consistency.”
Friday night Carleton Place skated past Cumberland Grads of the Yzerman Division by a 5-2 count. With a pair of weekend victories under their belts Canadians have now won three consecutive games at home to improve their previously indifferent record to 6-4-1-0 in the friendly confines of Carleton Place and District Community Centre. Canadians continue to have the best road record in the CCHL with 10 victories in 14 starts to date.
Clarke doesn’t underrate the importance of Sunday’s triumph however!
“Any time you beat the first place team and a nationally ranked hockey club you have accomplished something.
“It definitely felt pretty good,” he admits.
Following play Sunday Carleton Place was tied with Ottawa Junior Senators for the second highest point total in the league. The teams have 33 points apiece, two fewer than Smiths Falls and one more than Pembroke Lumber Kings.
Senators cooled off the previously red hot Lumber Kings Sunday night, blanking them 2-0 in a hard-fought contest in Pembroke. Ottawa now holds down first place in the Yzerman Division.
Meanwhile Nepean Raiders edged Cumberland 1-0 Sunday and they are tied with Kanata Stallions with 31 points in the tight Yzerman standings. Raiders however hold an important four games in hand on Stallions.
The two shutouts registered in the league Sunday were among six ‘0’s put up by goalies in the CCHL this past week.
Ottawa net minder Charlie Millen enjoyed the greatest success. Millen, the son of former National Hockey League goalie turned broadcaster Greg Millen, recorded back-to-back shutouts on the weekend. Millen is tied with three other CCHL puck stoppers with two zeroes apiece. Smiths Falls’ goalie Patrick Martin leads the league with four shutouts.
Carleton Place 7 – Smiths Falls 3: Canadians served notice that they plan to challenge for first place in the Robinson Division. They won a four-pointer against arch rival Smiths Falls and did so convincingly. Carleton Place outshot the visitors 30-16 and outscored them in every period. League scoring leader Chris Maniccia of Smiths Falls opened scoring in both the first and second periods to reach a league best 18 goals and 44 points. Canadians did the rest leading 2-1 and 4-2 and adding three in the final frame to underline a comprehensive victory, their first in three starts against Bears this season. Sophomore left winger Stephen Baylis had a big afternoon. The 18-year-old Carleton Place native triggered a hat trick and he set up another. Brock Edwards had a goal and two assists while Kevin Dufour and Anthony McVeigh added a goal and one helper each. Impressive defenceman Kelly Summers added three assists to his total of 13 points in 24 appearances. The league’s top scoring defenceman Tyler Akeson had the other Bears’ goal in the third period giving him 27 points, good for 11th place on the CCHL list. There were 26 penalties in the somewhat testy contest, 14 of those going to the visitors. Canadians were three for nine with the man advantage and Bears were two for seven. More than 500 watched the game on a summer-like afternoon in Carleton Place.
Ottawa 2 – Pembroke 0: The rebounding Junior Senators cooled previously hot Pembroke and in the process moved past Lumber Kings and into first place in the Yzerman Division. Kings went into the contest with three straight victories and having triumphed in nine of their previous 10 outings. They outshot the visitors 25-24 but couldn’t find a way past Charlie Millen who recorded his second shutout in as many nights for Ottawa. This one was highly competitive! There were no goals in the first period and Sens’ defenceman Paul Landry opened scoring at 8:20 of the middle stanza. It stayed that way until the dying seconds when, with Pembroke goalie Andy Munroe on the bench in favour of a sixth attacker, Ottawa centre Ryan Collins put his ninth of the season into the empty net with just seven seconds remaining. Landry earned an assist on the play. The final result marked the sixth shutout of the week in the CCHL. Fifteen of the game’s 22 penalties were whistled in the third period. Pembroke winger David Fassbender and Ottawa blueliner Stephen Inman were ejected for fighting early in the third. Lumber Kings’ defenceman Keegan Harper picked up two misconduct penalties for unsportsmanlike behavior late in the game which resulted in an automatic game misconduct penalty.
Nepean 1 – Cumberland 0: Raiders are just two behind Yzerman leading Ottawa after blanking Grads in a goaltenders duel at the Sportsplex Sunday afternoon. Back-up puck stopper Ryan Mulder earned his second shutout in seven starts this season, blocking 25 Cumberland scoring tries. At the other end Grads’ Devan Tremblay had an excellent outing, stopping 28 shots. The only goal he allowed was Steven Johnston’s 10th of the campaign at 4:53 of the second period. Raiders’ goalie Mulder had an all-around good afternoon. He earned an assist on Johnston’s game winner to supplement his shutout goaltending. To underline how well Cumberland played, Grads’ left winger Matt Allan was named the first star. Johnston’s tally earned him second star honours. Further testimony to the quality of the game is the fact there were just three minor penalties assessed, two of them to the home team.
Gloucester 6 – Brockville 4: Rangers won for the first time in four games, outscoring Braves at Brockville Memorial Centre Sunday afternoon. For Braves, the fourth place side in the Robinson Division, it was their fourth setback in five outings. They are six points behind third place Cornwall in the division. Gloucester remains fifth in the Yzerman, but is now just five points behind Kanata. After a scoreless opening stanza the teams exploded for seven goals in the middle frame, four of them by Rangers. The visitors outscored Brockville 2-1 in the third. Left winger Chad Millett netted twice and assisted on another to pace the winners. Gloucester captain and scoring leader Alexandre Boivin had a goal and an assist as did Corey Durocher and newcomer Maximilian Veronneau who was playing his first game for Rangers. Braves got a pair of tallies from David Ferreira while scoring ace Ben Blasko triggered his 14th and set up two others. Doug Johnston made 23 saves to earn the goaltending win in his first start for Gloucester. Cody Karpinski suffered the loss despite turning aside an equal number of shots. Each team netted one during man advantage situations.
Ottawa 6 – Kemptville 0: Junior Senators stayed in the thick of the Yzerman Division race by blanking the struggling 73’s Saturday night at Jim Durrell Recreation Complex. Kemptville was kept off the score sheet for a second consecutive night and they remain rooted to the bottom of the Robinson Division and overall standings. For Ottawa it was their second straight win and they remain in a huddle with six other teams fighting for the top positions in the CCHL. Sens moved to 31 points and into second place in their division, just one point behind streaking Pembroke. Charlie Millen earned his first shutout of the campaign turning aside 29 shots. Kemptville held off the Ottawa shooters for one period as the first finished scoreless. The home team peppered 73’s goalie Billy Cooper with 24 shots in the second period alone and they scored three times to put the game away. Three goals in just over 12 minutes in the final frame put the icing on the cake! Team scoring leader Ben Robillard along with Greg Jansz and Luc Deschamps led the charge with a goal and an assist each. Defencemen Derek Brown and Paul Landry and newcomer Chris Goulet, with his first in an Ottawa uniform, had the other goals. A powerplay strike by Jansz early in the second was the winner. Senators picked up eight of the game’s 14 penalties. Kemptville was a disappointing 0-7 with the man advantage.
It was a night of shutouts in the CCHL Friday with three teams blanking their opponents. Three Robinson Division sides, Smiths Falls, Brockville and Hawkesbury all put up 0’s on their way to victory!
Smiths Falls 5 – Cornwall 0: Five third period goals broke open a tight game and propelled league leaders Smiths Falls to yet another victory. It was Bears’ seventh win in eight games and their fourth shutout victory in the same stretch. All four ‘0’s belong to veteran puck stopper Patrick Martin. This time he turned aside 28 shots to blank Colts’ shooters. Bears strong play is resonating with the fans in Smiths Falls. Friday nearly 750 were in the stands to watch as the club’s hot streak continued. The game was scoreless for 46 minutes, two seconds mainly thanks to the work of Cornwall goalie Jordan Piccolino. Patrick Sexton’s fourth goal ultimately proved to be the winner. Rookie winger Daniele Disipio netted the final two goals in less than two minutes late in the game with Connor McLaren’s powerplay marker and Jeffrey Carroll’s 10th tally of the campaign padding the scoring totals for red-hot Smiths Falls. Bears outshot Colts 35-28. Colts’ Piccolino kept his club in the game with 30 saves. He stopped all 18 shots directed his way in the second period and the game remained scoreless after two periods.
Pembroke 4 – Kanata 1: Lumber Kings, the hottest team in the league, rang up their ninth win in 10 starts. In the process they leapfrogged over Stallions and back into first place in the see-saw Yzerman race. The visiting Stallions would never have been in the game had it not been for the work of rookie goalie Brayden St-Germain. The 16-year-old from Stittsville kicked out 42 of the 43 shots he faced as Pembroke out chanced Kanata 53-38. The overworked St-Germain was injured late in the game and replaced by Brandon Lane. Kings led 1-0 and 2-1 at the intervals and they added two unanswered in the third. The final strike, by winger Ryan Erickson, was into the empty Stallions’ cage. Tyler Gaudet gave the home team the lead at 14:04 of the first. Defenceman Carl Greco made it 2-0 Pembroke early in the second period during a powerplay. Kanata forward Joe Breslin replied with 30 seconds remaining in the middle frame, his 10th of the campaign. Colin Bradbury padded Kings’ lead early in the third. Greco added an assist and left winger Liam Biard set up two. There were just four minor penalties in the contest, two to each side. Andy Munroe made 37 saves to record his ninth win in 13 decisions. A large Pembroke crowd of 1,723 watched Kings win for the eighth time in 11 home starts.
Carleton Place 5 – Cumberland 2: A strange quirk in the league schedule saw Canadians face Grads, the last place team in the Yzerman Division, for the third time in five games Friday. Carleton Place took full advantage, winning all three games including back-to-back victories in Navan Oct. 28 and Nov. 2. This time Canadians triumphed in front of nearly 400 home supporters improving their record to 15-8-1-0 to stay four points behind Robinson Division leaders Smiths Falls. Carleton Place led 2-0 after one period only to concede back-to-back strikes by veteran Cumberland forward Zach Rodier in the second period. Canadians’ centre Alex Globke took over the team scoring lead with his 11th goal and two assists. Globke’s marker came with 2:01 remaining in the middle stanza and Carleton Place never looked back. Luke Kasteel with his fifth and Kevin Dufour with his team leading 13th goal rounded out scoring early in the third period. Forward Evan Peterson and defenceman Larry Smith rang up a pair of assists each. The home team held a 36-24 advantage in shots on goal. Justin Laforest improved his record to 5-2 making 23 stops. Reilly Turner was the losing net minder. Canadians led the penalty parade taking nine of 15 infractions. They were two for four on the powerplay while Grads were 1-7.
Brockville 7 – Kemptville 0: Braves won for just the second time in 10 games, taking advantage of the woeful 73’s who lost for the ninth time in 10 outings. Cody Karpinski made 20 saves to record his first shutout of the campaign and the second ‘0’ this season for Brockville who improved to 10-12-0-1. At the end of play Friday Braves were fourth in the Robinson Division, staying two points ahead of Hawkesbury who also scored a shutout victory the same night. As the score indicates this was all Brockville. They outshot the visitors 35-20 and held period leads of 3-0 and 4-0 before triggering three more unanswered in the third. Team scoring leaders Ben Blasko and David Ferreira each had five point nights. Blasko, the third leading scorer in the CCHL, unleashed two goals and he added three helpers. Ferreira fired his 12th goal and he helped set up four. Centre Cory Wilson had two goals and an assist. Braves were two for four on the powerplay. Jacob Tugnutt absorbed the loss to remain winless in three appearances for Kemptville.
Hawkesbury 6 – Gloucester 0: Hawks improved their fifth place record in the Robinson Division to 8-11-1-2, blanking visiting Gloucester the fifth place side in the Yzerman loop. Carmine Guerriero had an easy night in the Hawkesbury cage. He faced just 16 shots, stopping all of them for his second shutout of the season. Hawks fired 33 shots at a pair of Gloucester goaltenders. Left winger Stefan Momesso led the attack with a goal and three assists while four-year veteran Yanik Laliberte had a goal and two helpers. Shane Topf netted what proved to be the winner with 4:17 remaining in the first period. He also had one assist. Single strikes were credited to Carl Faucher, Pietro Antonelli and newcomer Nicholas Brazeau who scored in his first start for Hawks. Starter and loser Gianmarco De Meis gave way to Gunner Rivers at 3:32 of the second period after yielding the first three Hawkesbury goals on 12 shots. Rivers gave up three on 21 shots the rest of the way. The winners were two for five with the manpower advantage.
Early week games
Cornwall 3 – Hawkesbury 2: Two goals in the final nine minutes gave Colts a hard fought win over Hawks at Ed Lumley Arena in Cornwall Thursday. The only reason the game was close was the outstanding play of veteran Hawkesbury goaltender Carmine Guerriero. Throughout more than 50 minutes of play Guerriero frustrated the home team at virtually every turn. He blocked 45 shots as Colts held a wide margin in territorial play, out chancing Hawks 48-25. Guerriero, the game’s second star, kicked out an incredible 21 shots in the second period alone. Despite their clear dominance Cornwall trailed 1-0 and 2-1 at the intervals. Penalties proved to be Hawkesbury’s undoing. Colts struck for three straight powerplay goals to turn what looked like an upset into an important win. Trent Durocher, late in the second period, Michael Pontarelli with his team leading 11th of the campaign and Sean King spearheaded Colts’ comeback. King’s sixth of the season with 3:49 remaining was the winner! Pontarelli also had an assist and was named the game’s first star while Colts’ defenceman Carl Belizario set up a pair. Right winger Justin Villeneuve with his first in 15 games and defenceman Holden Anderson with his third scored for the visitors. Hawks’ scoring leader Brandon Bussey had two assists to take his total to 24 points. Hawks were 0-5 on the powerplay.
Nepean 3 – Carleton Place 2: Matt Zawadzki made 37 saves to lead Raiders to a win over visiting Carleton Place Wednesday night. Canadians dominated territorially, out shooting their hosts 39-24. But they were continually stymied by veteran goalie Zawadzki who was an easy choice as first star. He was especially sharp in the first period turning aside all 15 shots he faced as the visitors held a 15-8 advantage in scoring chances. In the third Zawadzki kicked out 16 shots and allowed just one goal. Nepean was missing forwards Dalen Hedges and Brent Norris, two of their top three scorers while Carleton Place was without veteran defenceman Christian Weidauer. All three were playing for Team Canada East at the World Junior A Challenge tournament in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. At Nepean Sportsplex veteran Canadians’ forward Luke Martin opened scoring at 5:53 of the second period. Keenan Hodgson replied for the home team six minutes later. Vincent Llorca gave Nepean the lead at 7:45 of the final frame with Alex Globke tying it for Carleton Place at 11:29. It appeared the teams were headed to overtime. However, defenceman Michael Vered put the game winner past Tony Kujava with just 1:04 left in regulation. There were just five minor penalties in the well played contest, three going to Carleton Place. There were no powerplay goals.
Ottawa 4 – Cumberland 3: Junior Senators jumped back into the thick of the Yzerman Division race with a hard fought win over visiting Cumberland Wednesday. The result left Ottawa in fourth place, but just two points behind division leading Kanata Stallions. Sens also held a big four games in hand on Kanata after the contest. Grads remained last in their division and 10th overall in the 12 team CCHL. Ottawa controlled the game, outshooting the Navan-based Grads 35-22. Devan Tremblay made 31 saves to keep Cumberland in the game. The teams were tied 1-1 after 20 minutes and Ottawa led 3-2 at the end of two periods. Junior Senators jumped out to a two goal advantage early in the third on Hunter Racine’s powerplay strike. Grads Matt Allan replied during a man advantage situation for Cumberland to make it close. Eric Clitsome opened scoring for the visitors at 4:14 of the first and Eric Witzel, on a powerplay, tied it for Ottawa. At 8:50 of the second period Matthew Morin nudged Grads ahead, also on the powerplay. Even strength strikes by Derek Brown and Ben Robillard, one minute and one second apart, re-established Ottawa’s advantage, setting the stage for an entertaining final frame. Alexandre Savard-Belanger made 19 stops to improve his record to 6-3.
Kanata 5 – Gloucester 2: Stallions turnaround in form this season continued Tuesday with an important home ice victory over division rival Gloucester. The result allowed Kanata to regain first place, one point ahead of Pembroke Lumber Kings in what is shaping up as a very interesting race in the Yzerman Division. The first and third periods belonged to the goaltenders who combined to turn aside all 31 shots they faced. Seven goals were jammed into a frenetic second period. Nic LaBurn opened scoring for Stallions at the 3:03 mark with Rangers’ Christian Leger replying just over three minutes later. Fabian Walsh on a powerplay chance restored the Kanata lead at 6:56. Two and a half minutes later Patrick White knotted the score. Late in the period Stallions erupted for three goals in three and a half minutes. Braeden Moffatt, Colin Horton and Joe Breslin put shots behind Gloucester net minder Gunner Rivers. Stallions’ defenceman Mike Zajac had a big night on offence with three assists. He was the game’s first star! LaBurn with his seventh goal and an assist was the No. 2 pick. Breslin had a two point night as did Kanata captain Curtis Watson. Back-up goalie Brayden St-Germain made 26 stops to improve his record to 4-2. The fast paced contest took just one hour, 56 minutes to play!
There is a very busy week ahead in the CCHL with 17 games on the slate. All 12 teams will see action Friday night.
Jeff Maguire is a career journalist based in Carleton Place. He has covered junior hockey in Ontario for 41 years. Jeff’s report will appear on the CCHL website every Monday throughout the season. He can be reached by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org