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Jr. Senators beat Nationals with third-period comeback

Rockland, ON – The Ottawa Jr. Senators (7-1-0) were trailing 4-1 after 40-minutes of action but were able to steal two points with a comeback win over the Rockland Nationals on Friday evening.

Dylan Blue opened the scoring for Rockland at the 7:20 mark of the opening period. John Mulvihill doubled the Rockland lead at the 16:54 mark. Rockland would take the 2-0 lead to the first intermission. Ottawa surrendered a single-period season-high of 16 shots in the opening 20 minutes.

“They were fast, they were on top of us. We didn’t execute very well, but that was more so because they pushed hard. They took advantage of some opportunities. We had some bad reads that ended up in the back of our net.” said OJS Head Coach Kyle Makaric on the team’s slow start.

Joshua Reid extended the Rockland lead at 6:21 of the second period. Ottawa would capitalize on their second powerplay of the period, with Philippe Jacques’ 7th goal, and 6th powerplay marker of the season at 10:45. Rockland would regain their three-goal lead only 27 seconds later as Giovanni Morneau recorded his first career CCHL goal, sending Rockland to the second intermission with a 4-1 lead.

“If they’re going to come back, they’re going to do it together. They’re going to do it with each guy up and down the lineup. It’s not going to be able to be one guy doing it himself. It’s going to take multiple shifts layered on top of each other to get us pushed in the right direction. ” said Makaric about the team’s mindset heading into the third period.

Simon Isabelle started the comeback only 2:10 into the third period, scoring his fourth goal of the season. Braxton Ross cut the deficit to one goal, scoring his first career CCHL Goal at 8:52. Isabelle picked up an assist on Ross’ goal.

Ross would return the favour, setting up Isabelle for the game-tying goal with 3:25 remaining in regulation.

Ottawa outshot Rockland 22-4 in the third period while scoring three unanswered goals to force overtime.

“It just seemed like one of those games that was consistently slipping away, going into the third period, but just the way that our team, especially the leaders and the guys in the room, they parked it, they left the two periods behind. They refreshed as soon as the Zamboni got off, they brought a fresh mindset with a fresh sheet and I love how they competed in the third,” added Makaric.

Each team recorded four shots on goal in a scoreless five-minute three-on-three overtime period.

Julian Recine would score the only goal in the shootout, capping off Ottawa’s 5-4 come from behind win.

Ottawa recorded a season-high 50 shots, outshooting Rockland 50-34.

Felix Schnell made 30 of 34 saves in the win, improving his record to 4-0 so far this season.

The Ottawa Jr. Senators’ next game will be on Sunday night when they take on the 5-2-1 Pembroke Lumber Kings at the Pembroke Memorial Centre. The puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 pm. You can catch the game on or you can watch it on Hockey TV.